FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas soccer team equaled a season-high with three goals, but it wasn’t enough as it fell to LSU, 5-3, on Friday night in front of a crowd of 1,384 to start its two-game SEC home weekend.
The loss drops the Razorbacks to 8-4 overall on the season and 1-3 in the SEC. It marks the first time this season that Arkansas has lost back-to-back games. LSU now owns a 7-3-2 mark and is 3-0-1 in SEC action, extending its unbeaten streak to five games.
"It was a bit of a weird game. It felt like it was going to end with a 9-7 score," said head coach Colby Hale. "Our girls showed a lot of resiliency. Obviously, we aren’t going to win a lot of games when we give up five goals, but the mistakes are easily fixable. Part of that was LSU’s quality, but part of that was self-inflicted as well."
Junior Jeriann Okoro was directly involved in all three Razorback goals, setting a new career-high with four points on a goal and two assists. Senior Evan Palmer tallied her fourth goal of the season, while senior Yvonne DesJarlais accounted for the other score. Arkansas has now scored three goals in a game five times this season.
LSU was led by freshman Summer Clarke, who scored the first of her three goals on the night in the 20th minute to give the Tigers an early lead. Just as the Razorbacks fought back to tie the game at 2-2 in the 54th minute on DesJarlais’ second goal of the year, Clarke struck twice over a 3:22 span to give LSU a two-goal lead, at 4-2.
Displaying the resiliency it has all year, Arkansas responded just over three minutes after Clarke’s third goal when Palmer tucked a shot into the net off the far left post from a tough angle on the right to make it 4-3.
Still trailing by one, the Razorbacks appeared to have the equalizer on a header by junior defender Allie Tripp in the 80th minute, but her bid was cleared off the line by a Tiger defender.
LSU was able to fight off the Arkansas attack that produced 18 shots on the night over the final 10 minutes and aped an insurance goal at the 85:15 mark for the final 5-3 outcome.
With a pair of three-goal efforts in its last three SEC games, Arkansas will try to keep its offensive rhythm going on Sunday when it hosts Mississippi State (3-8, 0-4 SEC). Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.