The Razorback soccer team opened up its 2016 season with a bang, defeating the James Madison Dukes 4-3 in double overtime.
“There’s a lot to say about this one,” Arkansas head soccer coach Colby Hale said in a press release. “A lot of good things and a lot to work on. This team has some resilience which is one thing we pride ourselves on. That is a good James Madison team we beat on the road. They won a conference last year that had four NCAA bids. We’ll enjoy this one tonight and prepare for a good VCU team tomorrow.”
The match, which took place on James Madison’s campus in Virginia, featured some fresh faces who made a name for themselves during the contest.
Freshman midfielder and forward Stefani Doyle had the most notable debut, scoring two goals on four shots. Another freshman, midfielder Kayla McKeon, also snatched a goal of her own.
While the freshmen phenoms each played exceptionally well for the Razorbacks, it took a senior’s header to seal the victory after a ferocious comeback late in the match by the Dukes. Midfielder Lindsey Mayo’s goal came in the 101st minute of play and featured an assist by another senior forward Alexandra Fischer.
Including that play, Fischer assisted on three of Arkansas’ four goals. The three assists placed Fischer in a tie for most assists in a single match, a feat that was first achieved by Ruthie Miller in 1992 and has since been matched by seven other players.
The match was a good start for the Hogs, as James Madison finished atop the Colonial Athletic Association, a conference that featured four teams that received NCAA Tournament bids, last season.
The Razorbacks will be back in action Sunday when they take on Virginia Commonwealth University at 10:30 a.m. The game will air on Cox Sports TV.
The team’s first home action will come Aug. 29, when the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils come to Fayetteville. Duke finished second in last season’s NCAA Tournament.