STANFORD, Calif. – In an extremely hard-fought contest against a nationally-ranked opponent, the Arkansas women’s soccer team fell 1-0 to the Cardinal of Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinal improve to 19-1-2 overall and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, while the Razorbacks end a solid 2014 season with a 9-7-6 record. Stanford will now play Washington on Nov. 23 in Stanford, Calif. in the third round.
The scoreless match was broken in the 24th minute when Stanford’s Lo’eau Labonta converted a penalty kick to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. The goal was set up when Taylor Uhl was fouled hard in the box at 23:13, and LaBonta buried a high shot for her team-leading 12th goal this season.
The Razorbacks played the Cardinal tough the final 21 minutes of the period and Stanford took a 1-0 advantage into the locker room at the intermission.
In the second half, the Razorbacks threatened but were unable to cash in on any opportunities. Sophomore keeper Cameron Carter was solid in goal, registering eight saves.
Stanford earned its 16th shutout this season in a match that was a lot closer than the Cardinal’s 24-6 shot advantage indicated. The Cardinal also had 13-4 advantage in corners.
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Arkansas Head Coach Colby Hale
Thoughts on the game: “At first we certainly weren’t able to keep the ball on the break, we just kept giving it back to them. Our defending was quite good, the problem was all we were doing was defending. We knew we weren’t going to be able to connect 10 passes together. Overall, we created some nervy moments, 1-0 late, I’m sure they weren’t really comfortable with that. We thought a set piece, a throw, a corner, we might get a chance.”
Playing from behind: “We felt we could have snatched a goal at the end. Coming in and playing the No. 2 team in the country, they are one of the best teams in the country. We knew it would be a massive challenge but we thought we were up for it and honestly we were pretty pleased with the effort. Overall, it was a good performance for us against a very good team.”
Thoughts on the season overall: “Our conference is definitely getting better. I think you saw A&M beat Arizona 7-2, Kentucky beat Arizona State 3-1, Florida beat Cal 3-1, so I think it says we are right up there with some of the best conferences in the country, we are certainly improving as a whole.”
• Arkansas’ record in the Colby Hale era is 33-25-6.
• This year’s NCAA Tournament bid marks the second straight appearance for the Razorbacks.
• Hale has led Arkansas to their only NCAA appearances. (2013, 2014).
• The Razorbacks are 3-1-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.
• The Razorbacks are 2-1-1 in true NCAA Tournament road contests.
• Arkansas is 3-3-4 in true road games this season.
• Under Hale, Arkansas is 10-12-3 in true road games.