BYU Soccer 8/30/21

Teammates mob junior forward Anna Podojil after a goal. Podojil struck twice in Monday's match against BYU, in which the Razorbacks prevailed 2-0.

After starting the year off with tough competition and losing back-to-back games to No. 2 North Carolina and No. 5 Duke, the Razorback soccer team bounced back with a 2-0 win over BYU at a packed Razorback Field Monday, August 30.

“It’s fantastic,” head soccer coach Colby Hale said after the game. “We’re trying to win every one. We’ll worry about that at the end. No one played a tougher schedule to start the season. I’m proud of the players, they fought through.”

The action started early as junior forward Anna Podojil scored on an indirect free kick fewer than four minutes into the game, assisted by junior midfielder Jessica De Filippo.

Podojil almost made a second goal later in the half, but the score was called off after the play was ruled offside.

Sophomore forward Kiley Dulaney picked up a yellow card for an illegal slide tackle inside the box shortly after entering the game, about 10 minutes before the halftime buzzer.

The penalty kick ended up right in the hands of senior goalkeeper Hannah Warner, who made five saves during the match.

Arkansas’ defense kept the ball away from its goal for most of the first half, as BYU struggled to get the ball over midfield.

As more of the reserves entered the game, the ball spent more time on Arkansas’ side of the field, but the defense kept the Cougars out of the goal and the Hogs took their 1-0 lead into halftime.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Podojil scored her second goal of the game, assisted by senior forward Parker Goins, giving the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.

“It was awesome,” Podojil said after the game. “It was a great team effort tonight. I think the fans really brought extra energy. I think we played as a team collectively tonight.”

The last 15 minutes saw the Razorbacks load their end of the field with all 11 players to prevent BYU from getting anywhere near the goal. It was very effective for the most part, with the exception of one scoring chance in the last minute of the game.

BYU sophomore forward Ellie Maughan picked up a yellow card with 10 minutes to play, but it did not impact the outcome.

The Razorbacks held on to win their home opener 2-0, buoyed by a brilliant performance from Podojil and their stifling defense.

“Defensively, we were tremendous,” Hale said. “They are a very, very good attacking team. I thought we won that box very, very well. We scored two great goals, could’ve scored a few more. I thought we put them in a good mix of putting them in uncomfortable situations and taking advantage of it.”

Arkansas’ next match will be 12:00 p.m. Monday, as the Hogs take on Stephen F. Austin in Fayetteville.

“I think it’s just going to give us momentum going forward this season,” Podojil said. “We played a really tough schedule these past three games. We’ve learned a lot and we’re going to keep growing and getting better each game.”

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