FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Louisiana Tech soccer team battled with Arkansas to overtime at the Lady Razorback Classic. Arkansas came out victorious in the extra time.
The Lady Techsters (4-1-0) and the Lady Razorbacks (3-2-0) were knotted in a scoreless tie at halftime. It was the first time this season in five matches Arkansas had been held scoreless in the first half.
Tech coach Jennifer Burns said she liked how her team opened the game and the intensity her players brought to the field.
“My kids were pumped up and ready to play,” Burns said. “They wanted to redeem themselves for the loss last weekend, and they were excited about coming on the road and playing the University of Arkansas, and they played their hearts out.”
The tie was broken in the 68th minute by Arkansas’ Christina Burger with an assist from Kate Venable. The goal ensured Arkansas scored the first goal in each of its matches this season.
Tech tied the game with 7:22 remaining in the second half on an own goal by Arkansas. Tech’s Savanna Russo had a free kick and sent it into the box when Arkansas Devon Burger attempted to head the ball out of harm’s way. Instead, the ball went backward over the goalie and into the net.
The two teams held each other at bay until overtime.
Burns said her team overcame a number of its problems in the first half, which built the team’s confidence as the match progressed.
“The first 40 minutes was the best 40 minutes we’ve played this year. All the things we did poorly last week changed dramatically tonight,” Burns said.
With just under six minutes left in overtime, Arkansas had a free kick, and the Lady Razorbacks were able to put it in the net. Abbey Wilburn scored on assists from Allison Harter and Allison Harris on the free kick.
Even though her team lost, Burns said she was proud of her players for the effort they showed and the way they played against a quality opponent on the road.
“For my young team to come out like that was huge,” Burns said. “We started three freshmen and eight sophomores tonight, and to lose in overtime on the road at Arkansas is huge. I think it’s a sign of where we’re going and in the short time where we’ve come from.”
What she saw impressed Burns on Friday night and it gave her confidence for Sunday’s match with Missouri State at 11 a.m.
“We fell behind and they gave up that own goal, but we were right there to pressure the ball ourselves. Last year, my team wouldn’t do that. We fell behind and gave up,” Burns said. “This team came back to tie it up with a good team. I’m super proud of my girls. If we come out Sunday like we did tonight and come out 1-1 for the weekend, this will be a good weekend.”