ELLISVILLE, MS (astateredwolves.com) — The Arkansas State women’s soccer team opened the 2015 regular season with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Southern Miss in double overtime at the Bobcat Soccer Field on the campus of Jones County Junior College Friday evening.
The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on the Southern Miss campus but was moved due to drainage issues with the field, was delayed for over 30 minutes before it could begin due to heavy rain and lightning in the area.
Once the game got underway, Katey Carmichael scored the first goal of the season for the Red Wolves in the 36th minute after she collected a ball off a long pass and put a shot past Southern Miss (1-0) goalkeeper to Brittany Taylor to give the Red Wolves (0-1) a 1-0 advantage.
Katherine Padgett delivered a free kick into the 18-yard box and Carmichael was able to emerge from a scrum with possession of the ball and sent past the keeper before Taylor could make a play on it.
“We had about every distraction you could ask for, but we kept our focus and once got out on the field I thought the kids performed at really high level,” A-State head soccer coach Brian Dooley said. “Going into halftime with the lead we felt good, but I felt like they stepped the pressure up in the second half a little bit. I thought we withstood well for most of their attacks, but we had just a few breakdowns that they were able to take advantage of.
A-State held the lead until the 62nd minute when the Golden’s Eagles’ Rikke Randrup got the equalizer to tie the game at 1-1.
Southern Miss controlled much of the possession in the second half and didn’t allow the Red Wolves to get off a shot until the 81st minute. However, A-State was able to put three good looks on goal in a two minute span, including back-to-back shots from Amy Andrea that just missed finding the back of the goal.
In the second overtime period, A-State nearly won the game on a kick by Shannon Steurer that was saved just before it crossed the end by Taylor to prevent the Red Wolves from coming away the victory.
The Golden Eagles responded by taking control of the ball and moved down the field into the attacking zone. After several attempts were denied by the Red Wolves’ Somer Jones found space from 20 yards on ball that found space in the top corner of the goal to give Southern Miss the victory.
Friday night’s opener marked the second straight season that the Red Wolves and Golden Eagles have played into two overtime periods, but as was the case in 2014, Southern Miss emerged victorious with a late goal.
Amanda Lee (0-1) made eight saves in goal on the night for A-State, while Andrea had two shots on goal. Fellow freshman Arianna Deli Carpini also had two shots land on goal, while Steurer and also had looks at the net.
Arkansas State will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff in home opener Sunday, Aug. 23 at the A-State Soccer Park. The match is set to kickoff at 2 p.m. and admission is free.