FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 11 Arkansas Razorbacks treated the home fans to a last-second comeback and 3-2 victory over Grand Canyon on Sunday afternoon.
The game seemed certain to end in a draw after Grand Canyon tied the game with 53 seconds left on a well-placed finish by Bekah Valdez. The tie lasted 27 seconds.
Arkansas responded with a game winner from freshman forward Bella Field. Her long-range attempt curled past GCU goalkeeper DeAira Jackson inside the near post for her first career goal.
"I needed to step up for the team," Field said. "I did what I needed to do. It shows you can play a bad game but you can still come in when you need to and score."
The Razorbacks (5-2-1) controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the match. However, Grand Canyon (6-2-2) opened the scoring on a lightning-quick counterattack against the run of play.
Following a clearance, the Antelopes broke out down the right sideline and Hannah Smith crossed to Gianna Gourley, who tapped home a first-time finish inside the far post. She leads the team with 10 goals.
The score was Grand Canyon’s first shot on goal. GCU’s second shot on target did not come until the 83rd minute.
In contrast, Arkansas tied the game after its 15th shot of the game in the 43rd minute. Anna Podojil looped a volley over the head of Jackson for her second goal of the season.
Jackson came into the game with five shutouts, which ranks fourth in the NCAA. She recorded 10 saves.
The Razorbacks took a 2-1 lead with 11 seconds remaining in the first half. Jackson spilled a firmly-hit cross from Podojil and the rebound fell to sophomore forward Zoe Sheperd, who scored her first collegiate goal.
There was a lack of goal-scoring opportunities for much of the second half as Arkansas held the ball and limited breakaways. However, both teams came to life in the final minute.
Needed it. Got it. 💪 pic.twitter.com/4EJk8JlDT0— Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackSoccer) September 17, 2023
Arkansas out-shot Grand Canyon 25-10. The Razorbacks recorded nine corners and did not allow one to the visitors.
"We could've scored a few goals early that might have changed the match," Arkansas Coach Colby Hale said. "We won and that's what matters. We will celebrate this one as winning is hard."
The Razorbacks will host No. 7 Alabama (6-0-4) on Thursday.