JONESBORO, Ark. (9/3/17) – Hailey Furio’s goal with 29 seconds to go in the match propelled Arkansas State to a 1-0 victory over Central Arkansas Sunday evening at the UCA Soccer Complex.
As the final seconds of regulation ticked down, Furio chipped a ball to the upper back side from 25-yard out that was out of the reach of UCA goalkeeper Anna Hughes for the game-winning goal. Furio was setup on the play by a pass from Maggie Ertl in the center of the field with enough space in front of her to take the shot on goal.
“I can’t say enough about this team’s resolve,” A-State head coach Brian Dooley said. “Our backs were against the wall a lot tonight, but we never gave in and we stood our ground and we took our chances when they came our way and we were able to convert on one of those chances really, really late in the match.”
With the victory A-State improved its record to 3-2-0 on the year, while UCA fell to 2-4-0 in non-conference play.
UCA controlled much of the possession in the second half and appeared to have the upper hand in the final portion of the match. The Bears took a flurry of attempts that forced freshman goalkeeper Megan McClure to make consecutive saves to preserve the score.
McClure (1-1) made nine saves during her second career start. Perhaps her biggest save came in the 69th minute when the Bears got off three shot attempts on goal that she was able to keep from going into the net. She also stopped a shot in the 80th minute by Lauren Hargus to preserve the scoreless tie at that point in the match.
The freshman from St. Louis, Mo., made five saves in the first half and settled in after stopping three attempts in the match’s opening 20 minutes.
“I’m real excited and pleased with Megan and the way she was able to control this match,” Dooley said. “I thought she faced some tough situations at certain points, but she worked through them all and made the right decisions that kept us in the match and allowed us to find our way.”
Sarah Sodoma provided the Red Wolves with two scoring chances in the second half, including a breakaway that resulted in a one-on-one shot attempt against UCA goalkeeper Anna Hughes. Sodoma dribbled in on goal as Hughes (0-3-0) took her position in the 57th minute and stopped the attempt by the Red Wolves freshman. Sodoma also took an attempt in the 63rd that was stopped by Hughes.
Taylor Schneider also had two scoring chances, each on a header attempt. Her first came during the 8th minute of the match on a corner by Riley Ebenroth that was struck right at the UCA goalkeeper. Schneider again sent a header in off a corner kick in the 61st minute that was cleared away before it could cross the end line.
UCA out shot A-State 16-13 on the night, but the Red Wolves held a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. UCA also made four saves in goal, while A-State tallied nine stops.
The Red Wolves return to the field for their final non-conference match Friday, Sept. 8 at UT Martin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.