FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Haley Gerken of Auburn collected a golden goal from 30 yards out in the 108th minute to hand the Arkansas women’s soccer team a heartbreaking 2-1 double overtime defeat at Razorback Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Razorbacks (7-4-5, 3-2-3 SEC) were unable to make an early lead stand, as the Tigers (8-5-3, 2-3-3 SEC) posted a second half goal to force the Razorbacks into their third straight overtime game. Auburn collected the golden goal win in the 108th minute thanks to a 30-yard bending goal from Gerken that bounced off the hands of goalie Cameron Carter and rolled into the net.
Head coach Colby Hale’s team got off to a fast start by scoring a goal just 1:25 into the game, as senior Tyler Allen connected with the back of the net off a throw in from junior Ashleigh Ellenwood.
Auburn posted the equalizer in the 68th minute with an Alex Massey goal. That score would remain over the next 22 minutes of play to send the match into overtime.
The game nearly ended in a tie, but Gerken ended any hopes of that with just 2:33 left in the second overtime period, as she scored her first goal of the year to give the Tigers an important three points in the Southeastern Conference standings.
After playing to a scoreless tie at Alabama on Friday, it would not take long for the Razorbacks to get on board on Sunday, as Allen scored off an Ellenwood throw in during the second minute of play.
Ellenwood, who was taking the throw in near Auburn’s bench, launched the ball inside the 18-yard box, where it rolled to a sprinting Allen, who gained control inside the six-yard box and blasted a shot into the back of the net. It was the third goal of the year for Allen and a team-leading eighth assist for Ellenwood.
The assist also gave Ellenwood the 66th point of her career, moving her into a tie for fifth on the school’s all-time list with Brittany Burns (1995-98).
Auburn nearly found the equalizer in the 22nd minute, but Carter, the reigning Co-SEC Defender of the Week, lived up to the award as she made a spectacular diving save to her left after Auburn connected on a cross inside the six-yard box.
Carter made another big play in the 31st minute, as she ran off her line into the 18 to make a diving deflection, sending the ball out of the box and preventing a one-on-one situation and keeping her team’s one-goal advantage alive heading into the locker room.
Auburn tied the contest in the 64th minute, as Massey’s shot hit the crossbar and landed over the line to give the Tigers the goal. The goal was set up by a run deep in corner by Hannah Alspach, who then crossed it inside the 18 to Kristen Dodson in front the goal. Dodson dropped the ball off to Massey and took a wide-open shot for the score.
Massey nearly gave Auburn the lead in the 79th minute, as she found an opening in the Razorback defense and sprinted towards the goal. The redshirt sophomore took a shot in stride just outside the 18, but Carter made a fantastic read by coming off her line to make a diving catch.
Arkansas had a chance to snatch the win in regulation in the 86th minute, as an Allen corner kicked resulted in a slew of headers from both sides in front of the goal. After five headers, Alexandria Fischer attempted to put a header on frame, but flicked it just wide left to end the scoring threat.
Regulation ended with the score tied at 1-1, forcing the Razorbacks to their third straight overtime match and their seventh in the last 10 games.
Auburn had an opportunity to capture the win midway through the first overtime with a free kick from 30 yards out, but Brooke Ramsier’s shot went right towards Carter for the easy save.
Ellenwood nearly ended the game in the 105th minute, as her shot from outside the right corner of the 18 just sailed high over the crossbar, landing on top of the net.
Three minutes later Haley Gerken netted the golden goal from 30 yards out to give Auburn the 2-1 win.
Gerken sent a shot that curved towards the goal, making it difficult for the goalie to get a clean read on it. Carter was able to attempt the save, but the ball slipped through her hands and bounced into the goal to end the game in the 108th minute.
The keeper ended the game with a total of four saves, while Auburn’s goalie Alyse Scott posted eight. Both teams collected 17 shots on the day, as Arkansas put nine on goal and the Tigers had six.
Arkansas will play its final regular season home game of the 2014 season next Friday, as they host No. 7 Texas A&M. Start time for the Oct. 24 contest is set for 7 p.m. and will be Senior Night for the Razorbacks.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s soccer team, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.
- Today’s over marks the third straight overtime game for Arkansas and the seventh time in the last 10 games they have played extra time.
- All but two SEC games Arkansas has played this year have went to overtime. (Vanderbilt, Florida)
- This is the first overtime loss for Arkansas this season (1-1-5).
- Arkansas is now 1-2-0 against Auburn under head coach Colby Hale.
- Arkansas is 31-22-6 in the Colby Hare era.
- In 32 SEC games under Hale, Arkansas is 14-14-4.
- Arkansas is 59-125-17 all-time in SEC games.
- The Razorbacks are 19-9-2 in 30 home games under Hale.
- Arkansas is 103-88-15 all-time at Razorback Field.
- The Razorbacks are 5-2-1 at home this season.
- Tyler Allen’s goal is her third of the season and the fifth of her career.
- Ashleigh Ellenwood’s assist is her eighth of the season and the 16th of her career, moving her into a tie for third on the school’s all-time assist list.
- The assist now gives Ellenwood 66 points for her career, moving her into a tie for fifth on the school’s all-time points list with Brittany Burns (1995-98).
- Today’s attendance of 1,207 marks the seventh time this year that the Razorbacks have eclipsed 1,000 fans.
Head Coach Colby Hale
Thoughts on the game
“Today we were not good enough. Everyone in the SEC is good. Auburn is a great team. I thought there were moments where we did some good stuff but in this league, you have to play every second, every minute. We didn’t and we got punished.”
On what to take from this game
“There is a big difference between being good and being great. On one side of the coin, our record is intact. We have everything ahead of us but on the other side, we have to dig deep and find the extra.”
On looking forward
“I am looking for a few small things. The first one is toughness and mentality. We have to get it back. We used to have it, we used to play with an edge. We are going to work on getting those things back this week.“