A showcase of teamwork and drive led the Razorback women’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday in front of a packed Razorback Field.
Arkansas (6-1-1) took on ACC powerhouse North Carolina (7-1) on home turf Sunday afternoon with the chance of upsetting the top team in the nation on the line. The Hogs delivered, shutting out the Tar Heels and claiming both a convincing and résumé-building win. It was a historical moment for the home squad, marking the first time the Razorbacks have defeated a No. 1 team in team history.
Although the first half of the game was hampered by fouls and yellow cards, the Hogs managed to come out for a strong, game-defining second half.
“We want to be relentless,” head coach Colby Hale said. “We are, at our core, and I thought we did a good job of showing that today.”
There were significant moments throughout the game, especially in the second half, when the Razorbacks dominated the match.
The game shifted in the 61st minute, when freshman forward Anna Podojil scored the first goal of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the match.
The matchup against a No.1 team contributed to the atmosphere of the game, Podojil said.
“When I saw that ball go into the back of the net, it was so cool getting to celebrate with all of my teammates,” Podojil said.
Near the end of the match, in the 81st minute, junior forward Parker Goins scored the second and final goal of the game, with senior Tori Cannata on the assist.
“I knew when I came back on (the field), we needed to get another goal so we could secure it,” Goins said.
The Hogs also came out strong on defense. Senior goalkeeper and TCU transfer Katie Lund made numerous critical saves during the match.
While the visitors threatened early in the game, the Razorbacks demoralized them in the 51st minute of the game, fighting in North Carolina’s box, blocking multiple shots in a row like a game of pinball.
Lund trusted her defense enough to keep the ball out of the box but stayed sharply focused regardless, she said.
North Carolina has built a dynasty in women’s soccer. The Tar Heels have won 22 national championships of the 36 in NCAA history and produced some of the most important figureheads in the history of U.S. women’s soccer, such as Tobin Heath and Crystal Dunn. The loss was the Tar Heels’ first since losing in the 2018 NCAA Championship game to Florida State last December.
The Razorbacks will meet Alabama on Sept. 22 in Fayetteville to open SEC play.