NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team opened the Southeastern Conference season on the road on Friday evening and suffered a tough, 5-0 loss to the 20th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tenn.
The Lady Razorback loss moves them to 3-5-0 on the season and 0-1-0 in SEC action while Vanderbilt improves to 8-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the conference.
“We were thoroughly beaten by a better team tonight,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Their speed was outstanding and energy was excellent and exposed some weaknesses that we were not even aware of. Make no mistake, there is a reason for their national ranking.”
Arkansas fell behind as the Commodores connected on a 6-yard shot just 1:09 into the match to secure an early lead. On the play, Vanderbilt sent a pass into the corner where it was touched and then sent to the far side of the goal by Katie Schulz. The cross found the foot of Sarah Dennis at the corner of the six-yard box and then redirected past Arkansas keeper Carrie Dillsaver into the goal.
Down early, Arkansas did manage to come back and give the Commodores a tough match in the center of the field for the next 25 minutes, before Vanderbilt made another surge late. This time it was Susan McAleavy who produced the magic results for the Commodores as she was able to corral a rebound and knock it into the goal to give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead going into the break.
The second half was much of the same for Vanderbilt as they controlled the tempo of the match and kept the Lady Razorbacks from making any headway into their defensive third. Arkansas’ best chance at the goal was produced by some crisp passing to the right side by Megan McCool who allowed Katie Taylor to run onto the ball and then send a smart cross into the mixer for Lyndsay Patterson. Patterson’s 12-yard shot to the far post was bound for the goal had it not been for a diving save by Vanderbilt keeper Tyler Griffin who snatched the ball out of the air to preserve the shutout.
With the lead and control of the match, Vanderbilt was able to exploit several defensive lapses by the Lady Razorbacks to pour on three more goals and walk away with a 5-0 victory.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., kickoff is set for noon central. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.