Soccer vs. A&M 9/24/21

Razorback sophomore forward Ava Tankersley controls the ball during a match against Texas A&M on Sept. 23, 2021. The No. 16 Arkansas soccer team won its seventh straight match in a 1-0 overtime thriller over former SEC co-champions the Aggies in College Station.

The No. 16 Razorback soccer team took down the Texas A&M Aggies, 1-0, in an overtime thriller Thursday night. 

The Razorbacks improved to 7-2 on the season and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play with the victory in College Station

The lone score of the night came from junior forward Anna Podojil in the 97th minute of the contest.  

Arkansas and A&M came into the matchup tied in a coaches’ poll as favorites for the SEC regular season title after their co-championship last season. The Hogs have won four straight against A&M, including two in College Station.

The game was frustrating for the Hogs, as they could not get anything going offensively in the opening half.  The Arkansas press defense was stifling all game long, and allowed few quality chances for the Aggies. The back-and-forth allowed for both teams to have runs down the sidelines that appeared to have promise, but came up empty as the defense for both sides allowed few clean passes to the middle.

“I think we got outworked in that half,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said on SEC Network at halftime.

The first half of the contest was the first time the Hogs had been shut out in a half since their defeat against North Carolina in the second game of the season.

Senior goalkeeper Hannah Warner kept Arkansas in the game and held A&M scoreless, finishing the game with four saves on four shots on goal.

Arkansas turned the offensive pressure up measurably in the second half, forcing the Aggies to stay in their defensive third for much of the last half. Arkansas found little room to maneuver around A&M’s penalty box, but found lots of opportunities from set pieces.  

The Razorbacks had 16 corner kicks in the game, and a number of other free kicks and throw-ins that appeared to have promise. Arkansas outshot A&M 22-9 on the evening.

The Hogs took the momentum gained in the final minutes of regulation and carried it into overtime as Podojil knocked in her team-leading sixth score of the season after a series of volleys in front of the A&M net. 

Senior forward Parker Goins led Arkansas in shot attempts, tallying six in her 77 minutes. Senior midfielder Taylor Malham, senior defender Bryana Hunter and senior defender Haley VanFossen all played the full 97 minutes for the Razorbacks.

Texas A&M was dealing with injuries and only had 14 players with logged minutes, compared to the Hogs’ 16. This was a factor in the outcome, as Arkansas looked to be the fresher team in the overtime period.

The Hogs will take on Ole Miss at home Sunday, which has the makings of an exciting matchup after Ole Miss beat the SEC-leading LSU Tigers in Oxford, Mississippi, on Thursday. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

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