The Florida Gators bowed out of the SEC Tournament after a 3-1 loss to the 1-seed Arkansas Razorbacks Thursday afternoon.
Making our way back to the title game for the fourth-straight year. pic.twitter.com/k0jrLkvJW2
— Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackSoccer) November 7, 2019
This comes two days after their 2-1 win over Texas A&M in the quarterfinals.
The Gators dominated the majority of the possession in the first half and generated eight shots to Arkansas’s two. However, it was the Razorbacks who came up with the opener with five minutes left on the clock.
The goal came from a Cara Young corner. Young whipped the ball into the box where it found Stefani Doyle. She chested it up into the air, then dinked it just over the outstretched arms of Susi Espinoza in net.
Doyle’s goal just before the break was the difference-maker heading into halftime.
The Gators may have felt unlucky going into the halftime interval a goal down, but any lapse in concentration can be detrimental against the SEC’s best.
1-seed Arkansas leads @GatorsSoccer 1-0 at the half.
Becky Burleigh’s team may feel unlucky being down at the half as they’ve outshot the Razorbacks 8-2 with 5 shots finding their mark.
— Joe Erickson (@JEricksonReport) November 7, 2019
Razorbacks Double their Lead
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Arkansas struck again. This time, Espinoza had no chance in goal. Anna Podojil hit one from just outside the box and bounced it in off the crossbar.
While Espinoza had no shot at saving it, Georgia Eaton-Collins and Carina Baltrip-Reyes allowed Podojil too much time and space to get the shot off. They were in position to block the effort, but they failed to do so.
60’ – Goal ⚽️
All-SEC forward Anna Podojil scores a beautiful curler from the outside of the box for @RazorbackSoccer
Assisted by senior Tori Cannata
Arkansas has two shots on target, two goals
🐊 0 Hogs 2
— John Miceli (@JohnMiceli13) November 7, 2019
Florida Halves the Deficit
The Razorbacks’ two-goal cushion didn’t last long. In fact, it only lasted four minutes and four seconds.
Florida won a penalty off of a short corner. Ava Kuyken played the ball short to Sammie Betters who dribbled by Podojil. Shortly after entering the penalty area, Podojil laid a hand on Betters’ back and sent her sliding.
Up stepped Vanessa Kara. Even though she converted, Arkansas’s Katie Lund should’ve done much better. She allowed the ball to trickle in right underneath her.
Gators Gift Third Goal
Espinoza definitely won’t want to see a replay of the third Razorback goal. Neither will Eaton-Collins, for that matter.
Espinoza ran out of her 18-yard box to collect a long-distance clearance from one of the Razorback defenders. As Podojil approached to close her down, Espinoza played the ball to Eaton-Collins.
Because another Razorback was charging to close her down, Eaton-Collins tried to play it first time to her centerback partner Julia Lester. However, she poorly misplaced the ball and gave it straight to Podojil. She gathered and shot from about 30 yards.
Espinoza, seeing the danger, was on her way back to goal. She got back with ample time to collect the ball, but she awkwardly fell just as it reached her. It bounced off and over her and into the net.
Despite the scoreline, the Gators outshot the opposition 20-9. Nine of Florida’s shots found the target to Arkansas’s six. Except for the penalty, Lund had a big game in net for the Razorbacks. She finished the game with eight saves to Espinoza’s three.