The Razorbacks Turn the Tide and Take a Win
The Arkansas Razorback soccer team earned a 3-1 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide Sunday, following a 3-2 loss Friday to Vanderbilt in two overtimes.
Arkansas took a 1-0 lead less than 20 minutes into the game when an Alabama defender had a failed pass attempt to the center of the 18-yard line. Senior midfielder Andrea Carlson sprinted to the ball and took a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal right past the goalie.
“It was so exciting,” Carlson said. “I’ve been wanting to score all year and I knew it was coming soon. Today I was like, finally, I got it.”
Alabama put up a strong defense for an Arkansas free kick at 20:48, taking possession and carrying it down the field to shoot, but Arkansas sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Roliard saved the goal.
Arkansas finished out the game in the final five minutes of the second half with a shot by sophomore forward Jeriann Okoro to the right corner of Alabama’s goal.
“I thought we did a very good job,” Carlson said. “Sometimes not as well as we should have, but I think with the way (the referee) was calling the game, we did pretty well.”
A shot attempt for Alabama came early on in the first half from a corner kick. Sophomore defender Kaylyn Cooper blocked the shot and kicked it away before another Alabama player could get to it.
The Tide managed to score when a player was tripped in the box, which resulted in a penalty kick at 27:49. Roliard was unable to stop the shot.
The Razorbacks tried to boost their lead with 15 minutes left in the first half with multiple passes and attempted shots in the box. One shot flew behind the goal, ending the attempts and giving Alabama a goal kick.
Senior midfielder Allie Chandler’s running effort paid off with five minutes left in the first half on a shot straight in the goal, setting the Hogs at 2-0.
“It (putting pressure on the back line) was very important,” Carlson said. “Because once you put her under pressure, they just get nervous and want to give the ball up like they did.”
Arkansas kicked into gear early on in the second half with a near-immediate shot on goal. The shot missed, but the play established the momentum for the rest of the game.
Carlson tried to have another moment like her goal before, but the defenders of Alabama provided more pressure in the second half. After her first shot missed, she sprung up and regained possession in time to pass to the middle, but Arkansas’ next shot rolled too far left.
After their last goal, Arkansas stepped up their defense to ensure no comeback from Alabama. The defense succeeded and gave the Razorbacks another win at home.
“We don’t really have any concerns,” head coach Colby Hale said. “We don’t really think in terms of that. We say, ‘OK, what is the next challenge ahead of us?’ It’s kind of cliche but it’s one day at a time for us.”
“There are still details we’ve got to get better at,” Hale said. “There’s still things we’re talking about that is not getting done. We talk about both sides of the point every day — what did we do well, what can we take confidence from and what do we need to do better?”
The Hogs look to earn another home win at Razorback Field Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. against the Texas A&M Aggies.