Arkansas scored with just over two minutes remaining to hand Oklahoma State a 2-1 loss Sunday night in front of 2,268 fans at Razorback Field.
OSU (0-2-0) dominated the attack throughout, outshooting the Razorbacks (2-0-0) by a 19-11 margin, which included eight shots on goal. However, an early goal coupled with the late game-winner doomed the Cowgirls.
“It was a good game, very entertaining to watch,” said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. “We can't give up a goal early, especially against a good team like that, and expect to come back and win – it's difficult. Having said that, we clawed our way back and played some great soccer. Early in the second half, I thought we were clearly the dominant team, had some great looks and scored one.
“Statistically, we were the better team, but it doesn't matter – on the score sheet, you have to win. We'll regroup. We're proud of the effort, proud of a lot the play. Disappointed in the loss, but we lost to a good team and we'll regroup and be ready for next weekend.”
Arkansas did not need long to take the game's first lead. Just 64 seconds in, Shelby Payne sent a cross into the box that Claire Kelley headed past OSU goalie Rosa Medina to put the Razorbacks up, 1-0.
The Cowgirls had plenty of opportunities in the opening half, outshooting Arkansas by a 9-4 margin with four of those shots on goal.
However, UA keeper Cameron Carter recorded four saves, and OSU misfired on its best chance when Krissi Killion sent a six-yard shot wide of the target after a pass into the box by Madison Mercado.
OSU continued dominating possession in the second half, and it finally paid off in the 73rd minute. Off a pass from Allie Stephenson, Mercado blasted a left-footed shot from just outside the 18-yard box that found the top shelf on the near post to tie the score at 1-1.
Arkansas outshot the Cowgirls, 4-2, over the final 15 minutes of the match, and the Razorbacks would notch the game winner at the 87:35 mark.
Tyler Allen delivered a corner kick into the box that Medina punched out. However, Ashleigh Ellenwood found the ball and drilled a high kick into the net for the game winner.
“The difference between being a good team and a great team is finishing chances,” Carmichael said. “We're also pretty realistic – we know we're getting a big-time forward (Courtney Dike) back this week. But it gives us something to work on. If we get six or seven chances, you better score a couple if you want to beat a good team. We'll continue to work on it, and our kids will come good. We certainly made a big improvement from Friday.”
OSU returns to action with its first home matches of the season next weekend. The Cowgirls will host a pair of top-five ranked foes in Stillwater, with No. 2 Florida State coming to town Friday before a Sunday match against fifth-ranked Florida.