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Spring Soccer Comes to The Hill

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The Arkansas soccer team tied the University of Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at Oral Roberts University for the squad’s second matchup of the five scheduled for this spring. The weekend before, the Hogs took on the University of Illinois Fighting Illini in a 1-0 contest in St. Louis, Missouri.

The contest, which ended 0-0, was the first time the Hogs had faced the Sooners since the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament. The Hogs won that game 3-2.

“I thought it was a slow start but we recovered and figured it out well,” Arkansas head soccer coach Colby Hale said in a press release. “It was a good, competitive match that asked some things of us that the first match against Illinois didn’t. Overall, I thought we got better. I thought we were going to get a late win, but overall a 0-0 result was probably fair.”

The Hogs faced the Fighting Illini at Lou Fusz Soccer Complex on Saturday and their one-goal victory started off their spring on the right foot.

“We have a lot to work on, but we had some good things happen in areas that we’ve emphasized,” Hale said in the press release. “Illinois does some things really well and I thought we were able to take those away from them.”

Senior Claire Kelley notched the match’s lone goal. Kelley was a starter in all 18 games Arkansas played in the fall and led the team in goals scored with seven. She also led the team in points, shots and shots on goal while ending the season tied for second place in assists.

Sophomore Reid Sibley assisted on Kelley’s goal. The game against Illinois was the first time Sibley had taken the field as a Razorback. She did not play in any games her freshman year because of her decision to redshirt.

“Last week was a good test in less than perfect conditions,” Hale said in the press release. “I’d say we passed a couple phases of the game and it also gave us something new to work on in others. The mentality of this group has been impressive.”

Arkansas has Oral Roberts coming to Fayetteville on Saturday. Oral Roberts lost to the Razorbacks back in August during the preseason. Sophomore defender Carly Hoke scored the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute. Hoke appeared in all 18 of Arkansas’ games and won the distinction of being the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year in 2015. She had one assist and shot 18 times, eight of which were shots on goal.

Hoke’s goal was assisted by senior Alexandra Fischer. Fischer started in 16 games and scored a goal while assisting on three others for a total of five points. She shot 25 times including eight on goal. Her single goal scored came against the University of Kentucky Wildcats in a 2-1 loss.

Oral Roberts ended the 2015 season with a 10-8-2 record including a 3-4-1 record away from home. The Hogs were 6-11-1 overall. Saturday’s game starts at 3 p.m.

The Hogs will have two more games left in their spring preseason after their match against Oral Roberts. Arkansas will travel to North Little Rock to play Northwestern State for their April 23 matchup. Near the end of the month, the Hogs will head to Lawrence, Kansas, for their bout with the Kansas Jayhawks.


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