ATHENS, Ga. – Except for a two-minute stretch early in the second half, Arkansas and Georgia were even in a Southeastern Conference soccer contest on Sunday.
After a tight first half, in which Arkansas dictated much of the play, Georgia scored twice in two minutes for a 2-0 win in Athens.
Meghan Gibbons scored both goals for the Bulldogs, in the 48th and 50th minutes.
Georgia improved to 5-3-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the SEC. Arkansas is 3-5-0 and 0-2-0.
At 47:50, Carli Shultis passed into to Meghan Gibbons at the left corner of the 18. Gibbons split a pair of defenders, drew keeper Kelly Roliard out and scored on a grounder into the right side of the goal.
Two minutes later, Nikki Hill lofted a pass into the box. Gibbon got behind the defense, met the pass halfway in and hit a shot that bounced by Roliard for a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute.
Arkansas had a chance to answer two minutes later. A foul on the Bulldogs gave Tyler Allen a free kick at the left corner of the 18. She played into Ellenwood inside the six, but Georgia headed it out past the end line.
"We can’t give good teams goals and we did that today," head coach Colby Hale said. "We’re learning from our mistakes, but we have to grow from them and not keep making the same ones. We need to focus for 90 minutes. In the second half, we got out-worked. They were first to first and second balls. We work on those things, but we have to execute."
After an even first half, Georgia finished with an 18-6 lead in shots and an 8-3 lead in shots on goal. In the second half, the Bulldogs had a 13-1 lead in shots and a 6-0 advantage in shots on goal.
The Bulldogs also had a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks for the game.
Arkansas got off to a good start with a pair of free kicks just across midfield in the early going. On the second free kick, six minutes in, Kaylyn Cooper played the ball inside and on a deflection back out, she passed in to Beth Stratton. Inside the box, Stratton moved to her right and fired a hard shot from 12 yards out, but it was right at the keeper for the first save of the game.
Georgia’s first shot came 12 minutes in. Off a corner from the far side, Tori Cooper had a header at an open right post, but the shot was wide.
At 19:20, Ashleigh Ellenwood got a pass inside the box. With a defender on her left side, she turned and fired at the left post with the keeper coming out, but the shot was wide.
Georgia answered quickly going the other way and Roliard made a diving save.
Following a Georgia foul at 25:00, the free kick from midfield was played deep into the box. Ellenwood ran into the box and collided with the keeper to pick up a yellow card in another scoring chance.
In the 28th minute, Arkansas produced a flurry of shots. Yvonne DesJarlais took a hard cut from 25 yards out, but right at the keeper for the save. The shot was deflected and Tyler Allen got a shot from 20 yards out, but it was blocked. Blake Pruitt got a deflection and put a shot on goal from 35 yards out, but the Bulldogs made the save.
At the 33-minute mark, Georgia crossed and got a header from 10 yards away, but Roliard made the save moving to her left.
Through the first period, both teams had five shots and Arkansas leading in shots on goal, 3-2. Georgia was called for eight fouls to three on Arkansas, and the Bulldogs had a 5-0 lead in corners.
"In the first half, our game plan worked," Hale said. "They adjusted at the half. We made some adjustments, but before they took place, we gave them two goals."
The Razorbacks return home next week, playing host to Kentucky on Friday and South Carolina on Sunday.
Download: Box vs. Arkansas.pdf