No. 4 Arkansas faced a tough test Thursday night, but prevailed over the No. 19 Auburn Tigers, 2-0, to secure its third straight Southeastern Conference regular season championship.
The Razorbacks continued to add to their program-record 13-game winning streak. The victory Thursday raised the Hogs’ record to 13-2 on the season and 8-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Hogs’ first score came off the foot of junior forward Anna Podojil in the 35th minute. Thursday was just Podojil’s second game back from injury. The second goal of the contest came from senior midfielder Kayla McKeon in the 69th minute.
Arkansas continued its impressive offensive attack and outshot the Tigers 16-6. The Razorbacks’ aggressive style of play had the Tigers flustered all night, as Arkansas managed to bombard the Auburn defense with shot attempts. The Razorbacks’ heavy attack did get them into some trouble, as they were called offsides seven times and committed 10 fouls.
Senior goalkeeper Hannah Warner was perfect on the night with three saves. The stalwart Hog defenders allowed six shots.
Arkansas’ defense got on the board Thursday night too. Senior defender Bryana Hunter had her first assist of the year on Podojil’s goal. The defensive pair of Hunter and senior Haley VanFossen played the full 90 minutes.
Sophomore forward Kiley Dulaney was impressive against the Tigers, as she had three shots, including one on target. Dulaney had previously gotten her first start of the season because of Podojil’s injury, but was impactful enough to keep a starting role on a lethal Razorback offense. Dulaney continued demonstrating her game-changing abilities against the Tigers and created a lot of chaos in the penalty box.
The Razorback offense once again felt the presence of young playmakers as freshman forward Sophia Aragon continued to carve out a role for herself. She was a playmaker off the bench, as her speed and ball handling ability created multiple chances for the Hogs. Aragon had two shots in 43 minutes.
Senior midfielder Taylor Malham benefited her team with her veteran presence in the middle third, playing all 90 minutes and logging an assist. Malham had been put into a more defensive role at the beginning of the year after playing forward earlier in her career. She continued to show her effectiveness in the new role against Auburn, impacting all facets of the game from box to box.
The Razorbacks will have the opportunity to log their 14th straight win when they take on Mississippi State at 6 p.m. Sunday in Fayetteville. The game will be streamed on the SEC Network+.