Late Comeback Not Enough For Razorbacks
LAKE CHARLES, La. — With second-half goals from junior Tori Cannata and sophomore Taylor Malham, the Arkansas soccer team came back twice against McNeese State to force overtime Sunday afternoon. However, a 107th-minute rebound score gave the Cowgirls the 3-2 victory in double overtime, handing the Razorbacks their first loss of the 2018 season.
McNeese State’s (3-1-0) Havana Johnson scored the game-winner after a rebound near the right-post deflected to her feet. Arkansas (2-1-1) goalkeeper Rachel Harris had come off her line to try and knock the ball away on the first shot attempt, but could not get her hand on it, leaving the goal open for Johnson.
For Cannata and Malham, both of their goals were their first of the season and equalized the match in the 79th and 90th minutes. McNeese looked to have the match in hand with its go-ahead goal in the 89th minute, but the Razorback offense caught the Cowgirls on their heels seconds later as Malham ricocheted a shot off the left post into the net to send the match into overtime.
Sunday’s match was the second time this season that Arkansas has gone into extra time after it played to a draw with No. 9 West Virginia last week for its fourth result over a top-10 team in the last three seasons.
From Head Coach Colby Hale
“First off, credit to McNeese State. I thought they were very good. A big congrats to (McNeese head coach) Drew (Fitzgerald), his staff and those players. We will let this sting a bit. We will need to watch video, learn a few lessons as a team and then get to work for a big home game against Baylor on Friday.” – Head coach Colby Hale
How It Went Down
21st minute – McNeese broke the scoreless match midway through the first half after being awarded a penalty kick from foul call on Razorback keeper Rachel Harris. Keely Morrow scored the goal to give the Cowgirls the early advantage. Arkansas already notched two corner opportunities before the penalty kick.
79th minute – The Razorbacks finally got the equalizer it had been looking for when Cannata one-timed in her first score of the year. Senior Carly Hoke got the assist on a perfect cross from the left side to the right post. Sophomore Parker Goins deflected it to dupe the keeper and Cannata finished it with the one-timer. The point for Hoke was her first since notching an assist against Providence (Sept. 10, 2017) last year.
89th minute – In the final two minutes, McNeese went ahead for the second time in the afternoon as Morgan Middleton beat Arkansas’ back line on a counter attack with the assist from Havana Johnson.
90th minute – Arkansas wasted no time after the Cowgirl goal as it was able to score just seconds after being cleared to play from the referee. Before McNeese had its defense set, the Razorbacks worked down the left side of the field and Malham finished with a right-footed shot that bounced in off the left post.
Other Key Notes
-Taylor Malham and Tori Cannata became the fourth and fifth different Razorbacks to score a goal through four matches this year.
-Malham’s score gives her three points on the season, just one behind junior Marissa Kinsey, who scored twice on Friday against Omaha.
-Senior defender Carly Hoke recorded her first point of the 2018 season, her first since notching an assist against Providence (Sept. 10, 2017) last year.
-Arkansas and McNeese State notched a combined 34 shots in Sunday’s match. The Razorbacks held the advantage 19-15, their second-largest shot output this season.
-Parker Goins and Taylor Malham are the only Razorbacks to record at least one point in multiple matches so far this year.
Arkansas returns home for a single-game weekend slated against No. 17 Baylor. Kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at Razorback Field and the match will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
For more information on Razorback Soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.