FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas' soccer team played its first home exhibition game of the spring over the weekend and following a rough first half, played even with national power Oklahoma State in the second half.
The Cowgirls, who were 22-2-2 in 2011 and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half, but Arkansas blanked them in the second period with OSU winning by that final score.
First-head head coach Colby Hale wasn't pleased with the first half, but saw some things to build on in the second half.
"In the second half, we really should have scored some goals," he says. "We created some good chances. The players did a good job, but it's a building process."
Oklahoma State recorded a 4-0 win in Fayetteville last season, scoring twice in each period, and ended the year ranked No. 5.
Arkansas was playing for the first time in more than a month. The Razorbacks opened their spring exhibition season on March 3 with two games in Tulsa. Arkansas lost an abbreviated 60-minute game with multiple substitutions to Oral Roberts, 1-0, but bounced back later that day to knock off Tulsa in a full game, 2-0. Tulsa was 10-8-3 in the fall.
"We know this is a process," Hale says of establishing his program. "We went back and watched the video of the (OSU) game and there's some work to do. We are in the process of figuring out who we are. We fixed a few problems at the half and played much better in the second half. We're still developing. Oklahoma State is very talented. At times, we were up to the task. We need to make those times last longer."
The Razorbacks get a chance to build on that second half performance this week when Arkansas hosts its annual Alumni Game at Razorback Field Saturday at 1 p.m.