FAYETTEVILLE – Despite an advantage in the possession category, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team could not overcome a late first half goal by the George Mason University Patriots, falling 1-0, at Lady’Back Field in Fayetteville Sunday afternoon.
The loss drops Arkansas to 2-3-0 on the season and evens their home record at 1-1-0, while George Mason improves to 3-2-0 as they continue on a three-game winning streak.
“I think that we struggled today,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “You have to give George Mason credit. They played a good game defensively, but we gave them a goal. I think that we have been playing well lately, but it was an uninspired game today by our team and sometimes you need a kick in the pants.”
Playing with a scoreless tie late in the first half, George Mason earned a corner kick with three minutes to play. The Patriots Jessica Paris went to take the corner from the right side of the goal and sent a towering cross toward the back side of the goal. As both teams scrambled to get a head on the cross, the flight of the ball carried it to the back post and into the goal without anyone touching the shot.
Demoralized after the shot, Arkansas played out the final 2:43 of the half before heading into the locker room down, 1-0.
The second half saw much of the same action as the first with both teams playing strong defensively, minimizing the number of quality scoring chances. While 12 shots were totaled by both squads, only five were on face, but each required a stellar play by their team’s goalkeeper to keep it a one-goal game. Arkansas senior Carrie Dillsaver made three saves, two on 1-v-1 opportunities to keep the Lady’Backs in the contest late.
While the Lady Razorbacks pushed forward in the final moments, it was George Mason who survived a couple of late scares as Arkansas shots just sailed over the crossbar. With 10:32 left, an Arkansas cross to the middle of the goal was touched by senior Megan McCool but three Patriot defenders prevented her from taking a shot and the ball rolled harmlessly to the George Mason goalkeeper.
Moments later, another Arkansas cross from the right side found the head of a streaking Katie Taylor at the near post, but her header sailed just over the crossbar allowing the visitors to take a sigh of relief.
The Lady Razorbacks are back in action on Friday evening when they take on the Liberty University Flames in Lynchburg, Va. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.