FAYETTEVILLE – Thanks to an overtime goal by sophomore Abbey Wilburn, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team matched its best start in school history with a 2-1 victory over Louisiana Tech University at Lady’Back Field on Friday night.
Wilburn netted the first game-winning goal of her career in the 95th minute when Allison Harris took a free kick from the midline and sent a long ball to the top of the penalty area that was sent on by Alison Harter. Wilburn one-timed a shot into the right side of the net to move the Lady Razorbacks to 4-1-0 overall while Louisiana Tech falls to 3-2-0. The game was also highlighted by senior goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver’s school record for minutes played in a career between the posts.
“This was a nice win,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Louisiana Tech played a great game. They didn’t threaten us very much, but they certainly made us work for everything that we got.”
An evenly matched game throughout the 95 minutes of action, Arkansas held possession for a majority of the time, but failed to get many quality scoring opportunities despite the advantage. Louisiana Tech frustrated the Arkansas forwards the entire first half and thanks to a splendid save by Lady Techster goalkeeper Jill Medigovich in the 28th minute, kept the Lady Razorbacks off the scoreboard in the first half for the first time this season.
Another 20 minutes would pass before Arkansas finally broke down the Louisiana Tech defense and scored the match’s first goal. Senior Kate Venable would connect with Arkansas’ leading scorer Christina Burger who took an eight yard shot into the bottom left corner of the net to put the Lady’Backs on the scoreboard first for the fifth consecutive match.
The Lady Razorbacks would continue to dominate possession for the next 15 minutes, but a foul call on the left side of the field gave Louisiana Tech the opportunity it needed to come charging back. Taking a free kick from near the touchline, a long ball was sent into the mixer where it would find the head of an Arkansas defender and rather than get cleared sailed over Dillsaver and into the net for an own goal, silencing the 599 in attendance.
“Anything can happen when you send a ball into the penalty area like that,” Henderson said. “It was very frustrating to us as a staff and to the team however, I thought that we showed tremendous character after the goal and took the fight right back to them.”
Arkansas nearly scored a go-ahead goal in regulation when Burger lined up a 15-yard shot that sailed just wide of the goal with three minutes left, but would be forced into overtime minutes later.
Midway through the first overtime period, a Louisiana Tech player was whistled for a foul and issued a yellow card near the midline where the Lady’Backs would end the match just seven seconds after the restart.
The Lady Razorbacks next face Alabama A&M University on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1:30 p.m. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.