The No. 7 Razorbacks added another tally to the win column with a 2-1 victory versus Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, Sunday afternoon.
The win improved the Hogs’ record to 5-1-0 and strengthened their lead atop the Southeastern Conference West Division.
The Rebels’ defense was able to neutralize the Arkansas attack for much of the game, but its lapse of concentration before halftime ended up costing the team two goals.
Senior midfielder Kayla McKeon scored her third goal of the season to put the Razorbacks ahead in the 35th minute. McKeon collected a deflection from senior forward Parker Goins’ shot attempt just inside the 18-yard box and converted her strike into the roof of the net.
McKeon’s goal was her third in the last four games. She was sidelined all of last season while nursing an injury, but her return has been a welcome addition to the Arkansas offense which ranks 1st in the SEC in goals.
The Hogs doubled their lead just eight minutes after they established it, when redshirt junior Nayeli Perez tapped in a cross from senior forward Taylor Malham for her first goal of the year. Prior to joining the Razorbacks, Perez and Malham were club teammates while playing for the Tulsa Soccer Club Hurricanes.
The Hogs went into halftime up 2-0, but Ole Miss relentlessly attacked the Arkansas backline anchored by the reigning SEC Defender of the Year Haley Van Fossen in the second half. The Razorbacks managed to keep the Rebels off the scoreboard for the first 80 minutes but they conceded a set-piece goal with just nine minutes left to play.
After a corner kick, Van Fossen booted the ball off the goal line but her clearance landed at the feet of Ole Miss sophomore forward Mo O’Connor who promptly tucked the ball into the net. Arkansas has yet to shut out an opponent since the season opener against LSU.
The ensuing final minutes of the match included critical goal-scoring chances for both teams.
Immediately after the goal by Ole Miss, Arkansas lost possession and gave up a one-vs-one breakaway opportunity to freshman forward Ramsey Davis who was unable to place her shot past Razorback goalkeeper Taylor Beitz. Moments later, the Hogs almost extended their lead in spectacular fashion when freshman forward Ava Tankersley struck a dipping volley that smacked the crossbar from approximately 25 yards out in the 87th minute.
Despite the chaotic final moments, the match ended 2-1 in favor of Arkansas.
The Hogs will return to Razorback Field to play against Auburn Friday at 6:30 p.m. The final home game this season for Arkansas will feature their first-ranked offense pitted against Auburn’s first-ranked defense in the SEC this season. The game will be streamed on SECN+.
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