Andrew Joseph is a reporter for the Hawgs Sports Network. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Razorback soccer falters in final minutes at Notre Dame
Morgan White dribbles the ball during Arkansas' 2-2 draw against Notre Dame on Sunday, Aug. 27. (Photo Courtesy: Arkansas Athletics)
The 10th-ranked Arkansas soccer team was let down by its set-piece defense in a 2-2 draw at No. 12 Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.
Notre Dame (2-0-2) took an early lead against the run of play after a failed corner kick clearance in the 18th minute. Arkansas goalkeeper Sierra Cota-Yarde came off her line and weakly punched a loose ball that fell directly to the foot of Notre Dame forward Meg Mrowicki on the 6-yard line.
Mrowicki centered the ball to senior defender Eva Gaetino who fired into an open net with Cota-Yarde caught out. It was the third goal in four games for Gaetino, a two-time All-American.
Arkansas (2-0-1) countered with an immediate response after conceding its first goal of the season. The Razorbacks leveled the match on a corner kick of their own two minutes later.
Junior forward Sophia Aragon headed home a cross from freshman Avery Wren inside the far post. It was the first assist for Wren as a Razorback.
Aragon has scored in back-to-back games after scoring one goal in 39 games over the previous two seasons.
The remainder of the first half consisted of both teams creating chances through quick counter-attacking play but missing a final key pass or finish in the end.
During the halftime break, Arkansas coach Colby Hale mentioned the importance of set pieces in the match. The winner of the set piece battle would likely be the winner of the game, Hale said.
In the 50th minute, Notre Dame’s self-inflicted mistakes resulted in an unusual goal for Morgan White who scored without attempting a shot. A short goal kick against a high-pressing Arkansas squad resulted in defender Clare Logan retreating into the 6-yard box where White’s tackle attempt ended up in the net.
White, an All-Sun Belt transfer from Marshall, has scored three goals in the last two games.
The Razorbacks held the lead for nearly the entire second half before conceding another goal from a corner kick with five minutes left.
In a similar fashion to the first half, the Razorbacks did not clear the ball out of the box on the initial cross. Once again, the Fighting Irish won the ensuing scramble and senior Ellie Ospeck tapped home the equalizer from point-blank range.
Arkansas out-shot Notre Dame 13-10 and held a 12-6 advantage in corner kicks over 90 minutes. The physical nature of the game prevented either team from getting into much of a rhythm as they combined for 26 fouls.
The Razorbacks will host undefeated Milwaukee (2-0-2) on Thursday. The Panthers tied Notre Dame 2-2 in their season opener.
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