Arkansas Moves Past Bulldogs in OT, 2-1

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Despite falling on the bad end of dominating play, Arkansas' Katie Hamilton punched in a header just 2:44 seconds into the first sudden death overtime period to shock the Bulldogs, 2-1, Friday evening at the Mississippi State Soccer Field.

The goal was Hamilton's second of the season and offset a dominating showing by the Maroon and White (4-5-2, 1-2 SEC) that spanned much of the second half, and a good portion of the opening period. April Berry picked up her first goal in just less than two seasons (Oct. 25, 2002), while rookie Brandi Parker picked up her first collegiate point on one of two assists, to provide the MSU highlights. Emily Meyers recorded five saves for MSU on the defensive side of the ball.

Playing in their third overtime contest in six days, Mississippi State dropped its first extra time affair since a 3-2 setback to Memphis on Sept. 15, 2002. It was the first win for the Lady 'Backs (6-4-1, 2-0-1) at the MSU Soccer Field since the 2000 season and extended UA's overall lead in the series out to 8-2.

"I think we played as well tonight as I have ever seen us play," said Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald. "We were very disciplined and we executed the game plan well. We maybe didn't take some chances that we could have finished them off with, but all credit to them. They are a very good team and play excellent soccer. I thought as more and more of the game went on, it looked like we were going to win it. It was a tough one and definitely a heartbreaker for us.

"I told the girls after the game that they need to put it behind them and move on. Sunday's game (against LSU) becomes all the more important now for us to advance into postseason."

Neither team could gain an advantage through the first ten minutes of play, but Arkansas made good on their second shot of the game when Jenni Brashear collected a rebound off a Katie Taylor shot and bounced a shot past Meyers to give the Lady 'Backs the early advantage. However, MSU turned it on and dominated the next 10 minutes of play before a pair of passes from Parker and Betty Ann Casey found the feet of Berry who lofted a 22 yard shot over the head of UA netminder Carrie Dillsaver for the Equalizer.

State would hold Arkansas to no shots the rest of the way out and held a 5-2 shot disparity heading into the half, despite the 1-1 tie.

The Bulldogs would find much of the possession in the second half of play and had its chances at various points of the stanza to pull ahead. Ngum Suh got State's best shot at the win with 13:57 remaining in regulation, but Dillsaver was up to the task and collected her 18-yard scorcher to keep the game at a standstill.

Mississippi State will return to action on Sunday when the Bulldogs close out a scheduled four-game homestand by hosting SEC West rival LSU (6-5-0, 1-2-0 ) in a 1 p.m. game at the MSU Soccer Field. Admission to all 2004 MSU Soccer home games is free. The Bayou Bengals were a 2-1 winner at Ole Miss on Friday evening.

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