Razorbacks Continue with Their Defensive Success
The Razorback soccer team (3-0) extended their early-season winning streak Wednesday night with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Bears of Missouri State (1-2) in front of a crowd of 805 fans.
The Razorbacks have started 3-0 for the first time since 2009.
“We take each game at a time and don’t really worry about our record,” Allen said.
“Winning every game is important,” first-year Arkansas coach Colby Hale said. “We don’t really think of it as winning three at home or winning three straight: every game presents a different challenge and we need to meet that challenge—physically, mentally.”
When these two teams met last season, Missouri State came away with a 2-0 victory but the Razorbacks were determined not to let that happen again.
“Hard work is what has won us these games,” Allen said. “None of our first three games have been that pretty, but hard work is what won them.”
The first half, although scoreless, was full of action. A free kick for the Razorbacks with 20 minutes left in the first half led immediately to a free kick for Missouri State, with less than a minute between the two kicks. The game remained physical and aggressive on both sides with a yellow card being distributed to Missouri State midfielder Erin Stewart with 19 minutes left in the second half.
There were plenty of corner kicks throughout the game, a total of ten for the Hogs and four for the Bears. Arkansas had two corner kicks in a row with 16 minutes left in the first half. After the second kick, a header towards the goal was blocked impressively by Missouri State goalie Chelsea Voet.
Arkansas kept Voet, the Bears’ veteran senior goal-keeper, plenty busy throughout the game. She had seven saves on the night.
Arkansas sophomore goalie Kelly Roliard had a bold game, staying out near the 18 yard line through much of the game, stopping most Missouri State offensive attacks before they could get started. Roliard had two direct saves on the night. And the Razorbacks as a whole have only allowed one goal all year—a penalty kick.
“She’s playing extremely well,” Hale said of Roliard. “But it’s a team effort. Everyone understands their role defensively and I think they’re executing well.”
Both teams ended the first half with only two shots on goal. The Razorbacks had a total of six shots in the first half to the Bears’ three, but none made it in the goal.
The second half started out promisingly for the Hogs with the first goal of the game being scored by freshman midfielder Haley Hatcher on an assist from junior midfielder Jessie Givens with 40 minutes left in the game.
This was Arkansas’ fourth goal of the season and each goal has been scored by a different Razorback.
The next game of the season will be the first away game for the Razorbacks. They travel to Dallas to play Southern Methodist University at 7 p.m. this Sunday before returning home for a game against Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2.