Hogs Face Defending SEC West Champions
The Arkansas Razorback soccer team (9-8-1, 6-5-1 Southeastern Conference) will travel to Baton Rouge Thursday, Oct. 25, to take on the LSU Tigers (8-7-4, 4-6-2 SEC) in both teams’ last game of the season before the SEC Tournament.
LSU has battled four ranked opponents this season with one win against No. 16 Missouri and eight wins overall.
The win against Missouri, along with their defeat Ole Miss earlier in the weekend, marks the first time LSU has won two road games in the same weekend since 2009. It was also their first win over a ranked team since a win over the Florida Gators last season.
The win also set the Tigers up to land potentially in eighth place in SEC regular season standings depending on the game against the Hogs. If the Tigers lose, they will be stuck in ninth place.
LSU’s head coach Brian Lee considered the game against Missouri to be the Tigers’ best game of the year thus far.
Lee has been with the Tiger soccer team since 2004 and built the team into SEC Western Division champions and NCAA Tournament qualifiers in the 2011 season.
“They’re a good team, they’re well coached, they’re athletic and they have experience,” head coach Colby Hale said of the Tigers. “It’s a huge challenge for us to go in, but I think the girls are looking forward to it.”
The Tigers earned the SEC West crown and made it into the NCAA Tournament four of the last five seasons.
LSU remained about even with their opponents’ average goals scored per game, with 1.32 goals scored versus 1.26 allowed. However, LSU’s shot percentage is set at .109 while opponents only manage a .071 against them.
Arkansas only boasts a .089 shot percentage compared to their opponents’ collective percentage of .102. This percentage comes from 21 goals scored out of 237 shots taken this season.
The Tigers average 12.1 shots per game, and have scored 25 goals this season.
Allie Chandler and Ashleigh Ellenwood are the two leading scorers for the Razorbacks with four goals each. Seven other Hogs have combined to score the rest of the goals for Arkansas.
Goalkeeper Kelly Roliard proved to be an Arkansas standout this season with a .750 percentage of goals saved, saving 75 goals altogether.
LSU maintains a well-rounded team with one player, Alex Arlitt, with four goals scored, and the rest of the goals scored by 11 Tiger teammates.
However, Tiger goalkeeper Megan Kinneman will be an obstacle for Arkansas, as she has saved 110 goals and earned a .821 save percentage.
Arkansas has played six top-25 ranked opponents and triumphed over two of those teams: Missouri and No. 18 Kentucky. The two wins mark the first two wins over ranked teams in the program’s history.
Arkansas’ Sunday win over Mississippi State secured a spot in the SEC Tournament for the Hogs for the first time since 2000.
LSU is looking to continue their eight-game winning streak as they compete with Arkansas.
The game against LSU could have implications on the Razorback’s chances of making the NCAA tournament, but the team is not focusing on that, Hale said.
“We just think LSU’s important because it’s the next game,” Hale said.
“We approached this season from a process and just said ‘What do we need to do to win this game?’” Hale said. “If we do that and we execute and we work hard, we have a chance to win. If we win, all the bigger goals kind of take care of themselves.”