The Razorback soccer team is having success yet again in the Southeastern Conference, but, this time, a freshman is leading the way.
Freshman forward Parker Goins is dominating the competition early in her collegiate career and will continue to help her team make it back to the NCAA Tournament.
Goins, an Oklahoma native, started playing soccer at a young age. She played multiple sports as a child but had to pick one particular sport to focus on, and eventually, her mom pushed her to play soccer.
“I started playing soccer when I was seven,” Goins said. “I also tumbled and cheered at the time, and I had to choose between soccer and tumbling, and, luckily, I chose soccer.”
During her high school career, Goins had success playing for Union High School in Broken Arrow.
She was named a four-star recruit by Top Drawer Soccer and was named the No. 26 recruit by IMG Academy. For that ranking, a select group of coaches and college scouts throughout the country and narrow down the top 150 soccer recruits for each class.
During her senior year, Goins was named the Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Soccer Player of the Year and the Jim Thorpe Female Player of the Year while leading her team to a 2016 Oklahoma Class 6A state championship.
Now, Goins is continuing to have early success in her collegiate career.
The competition in the SEC is even more challenging, and it was difficult at first – but that is exactly why she came to Arkansas, she said.
“The competition is better, and the girls here are bigger, faster and stronger,” Goins said. “That’s the best part, though. I came to Arkansas to get the best competition possible, and we haven’t had an easy game in SEC play yet.”
Now, Goins has become one of the most productive forwards in the conference. She leads the Razorbacks with 8 goals this season, including four against Abilene Christian University on Aug. 27, 16 years after Julie Williford became the first Razorback to score four times in a single game.
She received SEC Freshman of the Week honors Sept. 18 by helping the Hogs take down Oral Roberts, 3-1, and conference opponent Mississippi State, 1-0.
Redshirt senior and Goins’ teammate Qyara Winston said she is excited that Goins is having such a successful year.
“She is truly an unbelievable player,” Winston said. “I’m glad I got the chance to see her excel her freshman year.”
Redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Poblete, also sees Goins as a talented asset.
“She has so much finesse that you can tell she has been playing her whole life,” Goins said. “She strikes the ball very well with both feet, which is something you don’t see in many players.”
The Hogs are sitting at a record of 9-8-1. The team’s next and last conference game is at home against Tennessee on Thursday. After that, the Hogs will travel to Orange Beach, Alabama, to compete in the 2017 SEC Soccer Championship.
Although Goins continues to excel in the SEC, she thanks her team for her success.
“It feels good (to be successful), but it’s all because my teammates have helped me succeed on the field and have pushed me everyday in practice and in games to be the best.”