FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.- The Razorback soccer team played aggressively against 19th-ranked Tennessee Thursday night, but was not able to come out on the winning side of a back-and-forth battle, falling 3-2 at Razorback Field.
Tennessee (14-3-1, 6-3-1 SEC) freshman Khadija Shaw scored the winning goal in the 81st minute, one of two second half goals scored by the Volunteers. Arkansas (9-9-1, 4-5-1 SEC) had single goal leads twice throughout the match, but each time it pulled ahead, Tennessee was there with an equalizer minutes later.
Freshman Taylor Malham scored her fifth goal of the season in the 4th minute off an assist from Stefani Doyle. For Malham, it’s her first goal since Sept. 3 against Mississippi Valley State and puts her in second on the team in goals scored, while upping her point total to 11. Malham is now the fourth Razorback this year to secure 10 or more points this season as she joins Parker Goins (22), Doyle (14), and Katie Kienstra (10).
The 4th minute goal by Malham was also the second-fastest goal scored by an Arkansas player this season. Only Doyle’s strike against top-ranked Penn State (Aug. 25) was faster as she was able to score in the 2nd minute of that game.
Arkansas 1, Tennessee 0 – 4th Minute
The Razorbacks started fast from the first whistle, winning loose balls and making runs on counterattacks. Sophomore Kayla McKeon was able to start one of those counters near midfield and found Doyle racing down the right side. As Doyle fed the ball back from the end line looking for any of her teammates in the box, a deflection from a Tennessee player found the foot of Malham, who finished into the right side of the net from 15 yards out.
Malham benefitted from the Tennessee keeper coming off her line and giving her a clear look at goal after the deflection to give Arkansas the early lead.
Doyle’s assist was her sixth of the year, tying her for the most helpers on the team.
Arkansas 1, Tennessee 1 – 32nd Minute
Tennessee answered back just before halftime when Rylie O’Keefe found some space behind Arkansas’ line and was able to poke a ball past Jordan Harris from 10 yards away. Arkansas’ defense held Tennessee to just two shots in the first half, but both were on target with one being a score.
Arkansas 2, Tennessee 1 – 50th Minute
After the break, Arkansas took the lead again, but this time was able to benefit from an own goal by Tennessee. After a foul was called near midfield, freshman Haley VanFossen took the free kick and sent a beautiful ball into the middle of the box. However, a Tennessee player tried to clear the ball and ended up heading it right into their own net to give Arkansas the 2-1 lead.
The own goal was the last time Arkansas was able to light up the scoreboard as the Volunteers scored the equalizing goal and the go-ahead goal in the 69th and 81st minutes, respectively, to earn the victory.
Arkansas heads to Orange Beach, Alabama to take part in the 2017 SEC Tournament. The Razorbacks have secured the No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 seed Ole Miss on Sunday in the first round. The winner of that match will move on to play top-seed South Carolina on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinals. First kick between the Razorbacks and Rebels is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
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