TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In its first Southeastern Conference road match of the season the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday night.
A pivotal game in the SEC standings, Arkansas’ loss drops it to 8-5-1 on the year and 1-3-1 in conference play while Alabama improves to 9-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in league action.
“This is a tough loss for us,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We have been struggling with the health of our players over the past week and it caught up to us tonight. Alabama did a tremendous job of throwing bodies at us throughout the first half and got that critical first goal. After that we did everything we could to get that equalizer, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
For just the second time this season, an opponent got the jump on the Lady Razorbacks in the first half with a goal at the end of first 45 minutes. On what seemed to be a harmless Alabama attack, the Crimson Tide played a ball into the corner that was run on by Jessica Deegan. Deegan was able to turn on the ball and send a nice cross to the middle of the penalty area that was outside the reach of the Arkansas defense. Making a sprint from the middle of the field, the Crimson Tide’s Alex Butera came into the box and got her head on the ball and sent it into the goal with just 4:20 left in the first.
Arkansas appeared to have the pressure of Alabama sorted in the second half as it did a tremendous job of playing in the Crimson Tide end of the field. Several Arkansas scoring plays were saved at the last moment by the Crimson Tide keeper including one from Lindsay Patterson who hit a strike from 20 yards that was saved on full extension dive.
The Crimson Tide scored their second goal in the 76th minute after a corner kick was allowed by the Arkansas defense. Taking it from the right side of the goal, the Alabama cross went to the top of the 18 where it found the head of a second Alabama player who sent the ball into the middle of the box. Butera would connect on her second header of the game to make it a nearly insurmountable hill to climb with just 14 minutes left on the clock.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Auburn University Tigers beginning at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.