After suffering five straight losses, the women’s soccer team bounced back Thursday night by beating the University of Alabama 3-1 at Razorback Field to boost the overall season record to 6-11-1.
The Razorbacks recorded a goal after being shut out in the past four matches.
“We finished our chance,” head coach Colby Hale said. “We weren’t getting outplayed, we just weren’t scoring, but tonight we scored some great goals.”
Senior defender Blake Pruitt had a beautiful shot blocked by Alabama keeper Emily Rusk in the seventh minute of the match, but junior forward Katie Moore nailed a shot in the top right corner of the goal off a cross from freshman midfielder Reece Christopherson in the 10th minute to put the Razorbacks on top.
Moore almost had another goal in the half, but it was stopped by Rusk.
Alabama nearly tied the game when junior midfielder Auburn Mercer missed a header that went wide left of the goal halfway through the first half.
Arkansas defender Hannah Neece struck again for the Razorbacks at the 20-minute mark by scoring off an assist from Christopherson after a throw-in from junior defender Erika Miller. It was Kelley’s seventh goal of the season and Christopherson’s second assist of the match.
The Razorbacks had some impressive shots in the first half, and they found a way to get the ball in the box and put pressure on the Tide defense, which is something they haven’t been able to do in the past few matches.
“It felt like it was coming,” Hale said. “The kids were playing pretty well and pretty hard, and you could just tell that we scored some pretty nice goals.”
The Tide offense had a few good looks in the first half, but Alabama converted on only one opportunity after freshman forward Kayla Mouton notched her first goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 heading into half.
In the first half, Arkansas recorded six shots on goal.
Junior keeper Cameron Carter played the first half for the Hogs and recorded one save, but redshirt freshman keeper Jordan Harris finished the match.
Harris had a beautiful diving save off a shot from sophomore midfielder Chatham DeProspo early in the second half to keep the lead intact for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas junior forward Claire Kelley had a free kick that was tipped over the crossbar by sophomore keeper Kat Stratton, but a couple minutes later, Kelley notched her seventh goal of the season off an assist from junior midfielder Rachel Riggs.
Kelley’s shot ricocheted off the top of the crossbar and bounced into the goal to take a 3-1 lead in the 59th minute.
Down 3-1, Alabama kept pressing and almost scored in the 82nd minute, but DeProspo’s shot hit the top of the crossbar. Mouton almost scored for the Tide as well in the 87th minute, but the shot went wide right.
“They put on a great performance,” Hale said.
One of the key differences in the match was the Razorbacks’ persistent presence on offense. The team controlled the ball for a majority of the game and capitalized on Alabama’s mistakes. Arkansas had 14 shots on the night.
The Southeastern Conference postseason tournament began Monday in Orange Beach, Alabama.