Razorbacks First SEC Tournament Since 2000
The Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament starts Monday in Orange Beach, Ala., and pits the bottom four seeds against each other, including seventh-seeded Arkansas against 10th-seeded South Carolina.
This is Arkansas’ first appearance at the SEC Tournament since 2000.
The winner of Arkansas’ game, match one, will determine who takes on No. 2 seed Texas A&M Wednesday.
The second match features LSU, who finished second in the tournament last year and Ole Miss, who did not compete in the tournament in 2011.
The reigning SEC champion, Auburn (7-6-0), comes into the tournament seeded sixth and plays No. 3 seeded Tennessee (9-3-1) in match four Wednesday.
The first seed went to Florida, who only lost two of 13 games within the SEC this season to Alabama and Kentucky. Alabama did not make it to the tournament, as Florida was only one of three SEC wins Alabama managed this season.
Florida beat Arkansas midway through the season in a 4-0 shutout. The Gators have had no trouble playing as a well-rounded team that does not rely heavily on certain players and are ranked No. 11 nationally.
Florida’s first tournament match is 5 p.m. Wednesday against the winner of the LSU and Ole Miss game.
Second seeded Texas A&M followed closely after Florida with 10 of 13 wins and one tie. Florida played a close game with the Aggies, only winning 2-1.
The Aggies scored an average of 2.15 goals per game and only allowed their opponents to score an average of .5 goals per game. With a shot percentage of .115, Texas A&M comes into the tournament as a formidable opponent to Florida’s .152 shot percentage.
The third-seeded SEC team, Tennessee, earned an SEC record of 9-3-1. Arkansas was one of the three losses the Volunteers faced this season, as the Hogs beat them 1-0.
The Vols boast a .100 shot percentage, making 35 goals in the regular season. They have also forced their opponents to give up almost twice as many corner kicks as they have.
However, Tennessee has fouled more often than their opponents, leading to more yellow cards –17 total out of 211 fouls – on their own team. This could be Tennessee’s weakness going into the tournament and something other teams would likely capitalize on.
Bringing up the last of the SEC tournament seeds are Ole Miss and South Carolina.
South Carolina, seed 10, takes on Arkansas in the first game of the tournament. The last time the teams faced each other, the game ended in a 1-1 tie after two overtimes. Five of South Carolina’s games this season went into overtime and either ended in a tie or a loss.
The Gamecocks’ only win over a team that made it to the tournament was against LSU, who is seeded eighth. Their other two conference wins were over Alabama and Georgia.
The Gamecocks’ shot percentage is .080 and they have scored 18 goals out of 226 shots this season.
Seed nine, Ole Miss, won five SEC games this season, including their first SEC game against Arkansas. They also posted a win against Kentucky, who is seeded fourth.
With 43 goals scored on the whole season, the Rebels have a shot percentage of .136. The Rebels score an average of 2.15 goals per game. However, they have allowed more corner kicks than they have received.
The SEC Championship Match will be played Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.