Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s soccer team enjoyed it’s biggest offensive output of the season in a 3-2 victory over Mississippi Valley State at the A-State Soccer Park Sunday afternoon.
The game was scoreless after the first 45 minutes of play, but saw a flurry of action at the start of the second half that resulted in five goals in a 20 minute span before things cooled off and the Red Wolves (2-2-2) returned to their sound defensive efforts to close out the match.
Mississippi Valley State struck first with a goal off the foot Laadi Issaka just 46 seconds into the second half, but A-State answered less than a minute later when Arianna Delli Carpini was fouled inside the 18-yard box and scored on the subsequent penalty kick to tie the game at one goal apiece.
“I think we had a good response after they scored,” A-State head coach Brian Dooley said. “I thought it was critical that we responded quickly and we had talked about being more aggressive at halftime and Arianna did a great job of taking her defender on in that situation and we got a positive result out of it which is what we had been wanting in the first half.”
Arkansas State scored again in the 48th minute when Annica Karlsson connected on her second goal of the season thanks to a misplayed clearance by the Mississippi Valley State defense. Taylor Schneider kicked the ball into the box to far post and the Lady Devilettes failed to clear the kick, which allowed Karlsson to collect the rebound and put it into the back of the net to give her squad a 2-1 advantage.
Schneider scored the Red Wolves’ third goal of the game in the 52nd minute when she put home a header off a corner kick from Tayler Carter to the far post. The goal would prove to the game-winner because Mississippi Valley State would score again in the 62nd on a penalty kick by Mariana Balbao to close the deficit to 3-2.
The Red Wolves had multiple chances to extend their lead down the stretch and had six corner kicks in the final 30 minutes, but failed to successfully convert them into goals. The best chance came in the 68th minute when Carter hit the head of Kat Padgett with her kick, but the header sailed into the hands of the MVSU goalkeeper for an easy save.
“We let up after getting the two goal lead and they took advantage of that,” Dooley said. “We made a mistake and gave up a bad penalty by being over aggressive defensively and credit Mississippi Valley State because they continued to push us and made us play hard for the entire match.”
Arkansas State will open Sun Belt Conference play against league newcomer Coastal Carolina Friday, Sept. 16. The game is set to kickoff at 5 p.m. (CT) and the CCU Soccer Stadium. Following the match the Red Wolves will travel to Troy, Ala., to take on the Trojans Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.