Razorback Soccer took down the Tennessee Volunteers 3-1 Friday night to kick off the team’s Southeastern Conference schedule.
After starting the season 0-2 with losses to No. 4 Duke and No. 2 North Carolina, the Hogs have won five straight games.
Tennessee had possession and pressed the attack for much of the first half of Friday’s game, but Arkansas found success in counter-attacks, with most of its scoring opportunities coming off of Tennessee mistakes.
“If they want to take all sorts of risks, we’re going to punish them,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “They wanted to try and play soccer and I didn’t think they were able to, which made the game look the way we wanted it to.”
The first goal of the match was on the counter-attack as junior forward Parker Goins made a run and passed it off to junior midfielder Jessica De Filippo for the score in the fourth minute. De Filippo’s goal was the first the Volunteers allowed on the season.
Tennessee followed De Filippo’s goal up by pressing its attack even harder. Arkansas responded by clearing the ball several times, and senior goalkeeper Hannah Warner made two impressive saves in the early going.
Goins added to her assist earlier in the game with a goal of her own in the 24th minute to give the Hogs a 2-0 lead. From Goins’ goal to the end of the half, both teams were stuck in the midfield with unsuccessful run attempts.
“I think we did pretty good,” Goins said. “We’re a physical team and I feel like we dominated.”
In the second half, the Razorbacks once again had an early score, which came from junior forward Anna Podojil in the 46th minute. Tennessee responded with an offensive flurry of its own for the next several minutes, but could not get past the Arkansas defense and Warner. Warner got some help from the goal post as an attempt from Tennessee senior forward Mackenzie George bounced off the post and went wide.
In the 59th minute, Tennessee finally broke through and scored its lone goal of the contest, coming off the foot of freshman defender Claire Rain.
The game was physical and featured multiple yellow cards handed out by the referee, including one that went to both benches after a controversial call in the first half, and one given to Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky in the second half that resulted in his ejection from the game.
“This is great preparation,” Goins said. “Tennessee is probably one of the best SEC teams we’re going to play and I think this is just great prep. We’re gonna look back at this game and see what we can do better moving forward.”
Arkansas will look to continue its winning ways when the Hogs face off against UT- Martin on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. in Fayetteville.