Razorback Defense Holds off Longhorns
Coming off of a 2-1 win over Austin Peay Friday night, the Arkansas Razorback soccer team did not disappoint fans during its Sunday afternoon game against the Texas Longhorns, winning 1-0.
Arkansas’ only score came in the second half with 17 minutes and 58 seconds remaining when sophomore forward Jeriann Okoro broke through the Longhorns’ defensive line to push the ball forward toward the goalie, who tripped and missed the block, allowing Okoro to run around her and score a goal.
“I felt amazing,” Okoro said. “Last year I didn’t really score that much, but this year I’ve been working on my shots and my shooting.”
Arkansas’ red-shirt freshman defender Margaret Power blocked a shot from Texas around 10 yards away from the goal, leading to a Texas corner-kick. The kick was aimed toward the middle of the goal, and sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Roliard grabbed the ball with 36 minutes and 47 seconds left in the first half.
That was one of seven corner-kicks the Longhorns were given in the first half, while Arkansas only had one.
Arkansas had a few shot opportunities during the first half, including a few break-away attempts by junior midfielder Evan Palmer, but all attempts were denied in the first half.
During one run down the right sideline by Palmer, a Texas defender kicked the ball out of bounds, leading to two consecutive throw-ins by freshman forward Ashleigh Ellenwood. Texas deflected Arkansas’ attempt on goal after the second throw-in.
Coaches came on field to inspect Arkansas sophomore midfielder Sam Wolf and Texas midfielder Sharis Lachappelle after the two collided and fell halfway through the first half.
Tension rose during one Texas corner-kick when Roliard got tangled up with a teammate and fell, forcing sophomore defender Kaylyn Cooper to drop back to make a save. Roliard got up in just enough time to block and grab another goal shot.
At the end of the first half, the score was tied 0-0.
Texas started the second half off with the ball, and within the first four minutes, were allowed three corner-kicks.
Texas took a free kick at the 24:39 mark of the second half because of an unintentional handball by Arkansas. Roliard popped the ball up to hit the top post of the goal and fly out, giving Texas another corner-kick.
With 22 minutes and 25 seconds left in the second half, Texas shot a corner-kick from the left side of the field straight into the arms of Roliard in front of the goal.
With one minute left of play, Texas made one last attempt at a shot on goal, but overshot the ball.
During the last 30 seconds of the game, Texas quickly passed the ball among their teammates toward the goal, eventually giving up with four seconds left on the clock.
“We had more energy,” Okoro said. “Sunday games are hard, I felt like we grinded through it.”
“All we kept saying was, ‘grind it out’ and that was kind of our word,” sophomore midfielder Tyler Allen said.
The Razorbacks plan to work on improving the mistakes they made consistently and to keep working hard on the field like they did today, Allen said.
The Razorbacks’ next game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Missouri State.