FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Vanderbilt fell on the road against Arkansas, 1-0, in front of a capacity crowd Thursday night at Razorback Field.
The 15th-ranked Commodores (8-2, 1-1) were shutout for just the second time this season by 13th-ranked Arkansas (8-1-1, 2-0).
Up next, Vanderbilt hosts Florida on Sunday at noon CT on the SEC Network. Admission to Sunday’s game is free and fans are encouraged to bring their dogs as part of the ‘Pups in the Plex’ promotion.
“I am really proud of how we played,” head coach Darren Ambrose said. “After the first 15 minutes, we controlled the rhythm and possession.”
Vanderbilt outshot Arkansas, 15-9, but Arkansas goalkeeper Katie Lund posted seven saves to keep the Commodores off the board.
Arkansas struck first in the 70th minute off the foot of Parker Goins on a cross that was curved around multiple Vanderbilt defenders.
The Commodores missed the back of the net by inches multiple times. Haley Hopkins hit the post in the first half, and Raegan Kelley fired a shot that was misdirected by the fingertips of Lund to just miss the net.
Later in the second half, Leila Azari almost notched the equalizer after her header bounced off the crossbar.
“Our play in and around the attacking 18-yard box didn’t match our effort in every other part of the game,” Ambrose said.
Vanderbilt received strong play from both goalkeepers with Lauren Demarchi making one save in the first half and Taiana Tolleson recording two saves in the second.
Vanderbilt weathered the storm of an Arkansas attack through the first 10 minutes of the game. After that, the Commodores pushed the tempo and led the attack for the first half.
Vanderbilt ended the first half with an 8-2 shot advantage, with four shots being on target.
A team already depleted by five injuries this season; Vanderbilt suffered two early injuries to key players in tonight’s game.
“Given the number of injuries we have sustained, including two more tonight,” Ambrose said. “I thought the girls showed tremendous character. Each player who was called upon responded well. We have to keep doing what we are doing and it will come.”