KALMAZOO, Mich. — The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team peppered the Western Michigan University defense throughout the second half, but despite its best efforts the Lady Razorbacks were not able to overcome a Bronco goal in the 49th minute as they fell in Kalamazoo, Mich., 1-0, on Sunday.
The loss drops the Lady Razorbacks to 3-2-0 on the season while Western Michigan picks up its first win and holds a 1-2-0 record.
"They had a great game plan," Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. "They put nine and 10 people behind the ball and made it very hard to create space. In the end, you have to give credit to Western Michigan. The surface today was very slow and we teach our players to pass the ball since the ball will move faster than a player will, but today that just wasn’t the case."
A rough game throughout, the Lady Razorbacks had a hard time breaking down the Bronco defense through the opening 45 minutes. Western Michigan played a regimented 4-4-2 and kept eight players behind the ball at all times. The result was that the Broncos were able to stymie any Lady Razorback attack, but it also prevented them from taking any threatening shots.
At the end of 45 minutes, Arkansas held a clear advantage on the scoresheet with seven shots to Western Michigan’s three, but had nothing to show for the effort as the game went into the break tied at zero.
Following inspiring halftime speeches by the Lady Razorback coaching staff, Arkansas came out of the break flying and put immediate pressure on the Western Michigan defense. However, the Lady’Backs surge to push forward allowed the Broncos to counter one time and in that lapse, Western Michigan was able to get in behind the Arkansas defense and send a cross from the outside that was tucked into the net for the game’s lone score.
Down but not out, the Lady’Backs launched a furious assault on the Western Michigan goal taking 17 shots in the final 45 minutes. Several shots came from the outside and a few from inside the penalty area, but numerous attempts were blocked by the Western Michigan defense who resorted to placing nine people either inside or just outside its own penalty area.
One of Arkansas’ best attempts to score came after freshman Kelly O’Connor was taken down hard just outside the penalty area. Setting up 21 yards from the near post, junior Lindsay Patterson sent a long shot around the Bronco wall and toward the far upper 90. It was all that the Western Michigan goalkeeper could do to put a hand on the ball and knock it into the crossbar and over the goal for an Arkansas corner kick.
The Lady Razorbacks are back on the road next weekend when they travel to Louisiana to play Louisiana Tech and Centenary. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Women’s Athletics, visit LADYBACKS.com.