Soccer Dogs Lose, 1-0, to Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State tallied its most shots in nearly a month, and Emily Meyers recorded seven or more saves for the sixth time on the campaign, but Christina Burger's goal in the 74th minute kept the Bulldogs winless in Fayetteville as Arkansas slipped past the Maroon and White, 1-0, Friday evening at Lady 'Back Field.

Mississippi State (1-6-3, 0-3-0 SEC) tallied its second-most shots (15) of the season and its most since turning in 16 at Georgia State on Sept. 2, while also finishing the game with as many shots as its counterparts from Arkansas (4-6-0, 1-2-0 SEC). Meyers, who entered the weekend in a tie for seventh nationally with an 8.11 saves per game ratio, collected seven stops to up her career total over two seasons to 167 - seven shy of a her personal best set in 2004.

With the victory, Arkansas upped its series lead out to 9-2-0 and sent the Bulldogs tumbling to their third-straight series defeat. MState also fell to 0-6-0 all-time at Lady 'Back Field with the result.

"I thought we did a better job of creating chances for ourselves tonight, but we just need to work on finishing those chances now," said Mississippi State head coach Neil Macdonald. "I thought that, at times, we showed our true colors because of the effort we were putting into the game. We just need to dig in now and try to get some results the rest of the way out. Give Arkansas credit, they did the things they needed to do to get the win."

The Bulldogs looked to set the tone early, recording a shot and a pair of corner kicks in the first three minutes of the first half, but the Lady 'Backs turned the tide for the next eight minutes of play, by creating a handful of scoring chances including a direct kick from just outside of the penalty area after a foul by MSU defender Sara Moore. State got, perhaps, its best chance to score on Treena Ferguson's direct kick in the 15th minute, but her floater caught the crossbar to keep the scoreboard quiet. Arkansas answered the scoring opportunity with one of its own in the 32nd minute of the period, but Abbey Wilburn's point blank shot was brilliantly saved by Meyers to keep the score at goose eggs heading into intermission.

State, again, had much of the play in the first 20 minutes of the second half, particularly with a pair of shots by Betty Ann Casey. In the 73rd minute, Casey got another chance to put the ball in the back of the net when she went skyward against Arkansas netminder Carrie Dillsaver, but her header inside the box sailed just wide of the Lady 'Back goal to keep Arkansas' shutout intact. Wilburn's dribbler shot in the 73rd minute caught Meyers a bit off guard and, after her seventh save of the game deflected off her knee, Burger hit in the rebound to provide the game's only score.

Mississippi State will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Bulldogs close out a grueling season-opening road swing with a 1 p.m. tilt with divisional foe LSU in Baton Rouge, La. The Tigers (4-4-2, 0-2-1) dropped a tough 1-0 contest to Ole Miss on Friday evening at home. Following Sunday's action on the bayou, the Maroon and White will return home on Friday evening to begin a four-game homestand against defending SEC West champion Auburn at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff for that contest has been slated for 7 p.m.

At Fayetteville, Ark. (Lady 'Back Field)
Mississippi State 0 0 - 0
Arkansas 0 1 - 1
73:18 ARK Christina Burger (Abbey Wilburn)

Shots: MSU 15 (Casey 4), ARK 15 (Burger 5). Shots On Goal: MSU 3 (Three Players), ARK 9 (Wilburn 3). Saves: MSU 8 (Meyers 7), ARK 3 (Dillsaver). Corner Kicks: MSU 3, ARK 8. Fouls: MSU 12, ARK 9. Cautions And Ejections: Mariclaire Fancher, MSU (27:48). Offsides: MSU 1, ARK 1. Att. - 659.

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