FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Christina Burger scored twice, but the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team could not overcome two two-goal deficits against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Lady’Back Field on Friday night as the home team was defeated on senior night, 4-3 in front of the fifth largest crowd in Arkansas soccer history.
The Arkansas loss drops it to 6-12-0 overall and 3-8-0 in Southeastern Conference play and eliminates it from the SEC Championship Tournament. LSU improves to 7-9-2 overall and 3-7-1 in conference action and with the win claim the final spot at the SEC tournament next weekend.
“It was a strange game,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I thought that we were in control in the first half and they were not able to create many opportunities. The second half was just bizarre because it seemed like every shot they took went into the goal. Four goals is hard to overcome by any team but we put up a great fight and unfortunately we come away disappointed for the second straight year.”
The two squads played to a scoreless half despite several opportunities on both sides of the ball. The Tigers got their chance early when they were issued a direct kick from 28 yards, but the opportunity was squandered as the ensuing shot sailed high over the crossbar. Arkansas’ best chance came on a cross by senior Morgan McCord from the right side, but sophomore Sarah Gwisdala could not get enough of her head on the well timed shot to put it past the LSU goalkeeper.
In the second half, LSU came out with a bang and made Arkansas pay just 4:34 into the period when Kate Ripple took a pass from the center of the field by Melissa Clarke and fired a 20-yard rocket just inside the far post to give the Tigers a one-goal lead. With the momentum in the contest, LSU would strike again just five minutes later when Stacie McDougall hit an 18-yard bomb into the upper corner to give the Tigers control.
Arkansas made it a one-goal game when junior Katie Hamilton neatly put in an eight-yard touch to the bottom right corner following a long run by senior defender Katie Taylor and a pair of short passes to and from freshman Abbey Wilburn.
LSU would tally the next two scores to make it a 4-1 match on a second goal by McDougall and Melissa Clarke’s first of the season in the 62nd and 74th minutes, respectively.
Burger would score Arkansas’ next two goals seven minutes apart to bring Arkansas to within one with two minutes to play. The first came on a scuffle on top of the goal line that Burger was able to kick over her head as she was on her back. The play was set up by a Wilburn cross which allowed Alison Harter to nick the ball to the prone Burger. Burger’s second score was set up by senior Carrie Dillsaver who hit a long punt from the top of the 18-yard box that was headed along by Lindsey Patterson in the LSU half of the field to the right side where Burger was able to tap in the ball from two-yards.
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.