The second-seeded Arkansas soccer team took down the Northwestern State Lady Demons 5-1 Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The first half was all Arkansas, as the Razorbacks outshot Northwestern State 17-0. Four different Hog players scored a goal in the first period.
The first score came from senior midfielder Taylor Malham. She snuck a shot off her right foot past Northwestern State’s goalkeeper to find the twine in the bottom right corner in the fourth minute of the match.
The Hogs quickly hit the scoreboard again, striking in the 19th minute. Sophomore midfielder Emilee Hauser ripped a shot from the top of the penalty box and found the net to make the score 2-0 in favor of Arkansas.
The next score came in the 23rd minute from senior forward Parker Goins, who sent a cross into the box that found the head of junior forward Anna Podojil, who redirected the pass into the goal to make the match 3-0.
“I got it back and the girl was kind of sitting off of me,” Goins said in the postgame press conference. “I saw we had some players on the far post and luckily Anna was able to finish it.”
Sophomore forward Ava Tankersley found the net in the 27th minute, bringing the score to 4-0.
The Razorbacks continued to control the pace until halftime and found many scoring opportunities after the Tankersley goal, but could not convert them into another score.
In the second half, the Northwestern State squad appeared to find some life. The Lady Demons got on the board with a goal from senior defender Natalee Henry to make it a 4-1 match in the 54th minute.
Arkansas brought the lead back to four goals, however, after freshman forward Van Fitch scored in the 71st minute to bring the score to 5-1.
Redshirt junior Peyton Woodward subbed in for senior goalkeeper Hannah Warner in the 74th minute. Warner was solid when she needed to be, but rarely had the opportunity to make a save, because the Lady Demons only put two shots on target, one for a save and the other for a score.
Arkansas outshot Northwestern State 27-2 in the match. The Razorbacks also played all 22 players and got some important rest for their starters.
“We have good depth,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “We’re gonna need some contributions off of the bench for sure.”
Arkansas will host Virginia Tech in the second round of the tournament Friday. The kickoff time has yet to be determined.
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