STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A highly physical match between the Arkansas soccer team and No. 9 West Virginia went into overtime late Sunday morning, but neither team could find the scoring touch in the extra 20 minutes as both teams fought to a 1-1 draw at Jeffrey Field.
Junior Stefani Doyle provided the lone goal for the Razorbacks in the 16th minute, her first of the season and 12th of her career. Meanwhile, the Arkansas defense had another strong match led by sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Harris, who racked up a career-high nine saves.
Arkansas’ result with West Virginia on Sunday marked its fourth win or tie against a top-10 opponent in its last seven opportunities going back to the 2016 season.
With the tie, the Razorbacks will head into the second week of the season undefeated for the sixth time in the last seven years.
From Head Coach Colby Hale
“What a great game,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “West Virginia is a very talented and well-coached team. We were up for it and had a bunch of chances to win it. Overall, I’m pleased with many parts of where we are. It was a good weekend. We’ll go and watch the video and see where the areas we need to continue to improve are. What a great effort by the players.” – Colby Hale
How It Went Down
16th minute – Junior Stefani Doyle’s goal broke the scoreless match open early in the first half, giving the Hogs the early advantage. With West Virginia trying to go on a counter attack, sophomore Abbi Neece came up with a loose ball to turn the tides. Neece was able to find Doyle streaking down the middle of the box, who, then, followed with a nice move to beat the keeper and finish with a left-footed shot.
Doyle is coming off a five goal, 16-point sophomore season and has tallied points in two of her last three matches going back to last year. As for Neece, the Texas native was making her first start of the season and now has three assists in her career.
61st minute – West Virginia did even up the match after being awarded a penalty kick midway through the second half. Bianca St. Georges was called to take the shot and Harris was unable to come up with the tough save.
87th minute – West Virginia forward Sh’Nia Gordon was given a red card with four minutes left in the second half forcing the Mountaineers to continue with only 10 players for the remainder of the match.
90th minute – Harris came back in a big way to finish regulation as she came off her line to make the low dive on a St. Georges shot attempt from 15 yards out. The crucial save sent the match into overtime where neither team was able to break the tie.
108th minute – After only earning one shot attempt in the first overtime period, Arkansas had just 10 more minutes to try and find the winner. Junior Madison Louk nearly had the golden goal on another counter attack, but her shot attempt from the left side was blocked by West Virginia.
Other Key Notes
-In its last seven matches against top-10 opponents going back to 2016, Arkansas has won or tied four times. Sunday’s match was its second-straight result over a top-10 team.
-Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Harris turned away a career-high nine shots in 96 minutes Sunday. Her previous high of four saves came against James Madison on Sept. 1, 2017.
-Senior Carly Hoke and sophomore Haley VanFossen played all 110 minutes of Sunday’s match. For Hoke, it’s the third time in her career she’s played 110 minutes, while it’s the second time for VanFossen.
-Sunday’s meeting was the first between Arkansas and West Virginia.
Arkansas will return to Razorback Field for its next match as it will open the home portion of its schedule against Nebraska-Omaha on Friday, Aug. 24 with first kick set for 7 p.m.
Tickets are available via the Razorback Ticket Office starting at $5 with kids 17 or younger getting in free. Fans can also buy season tickets for $25 and will receive a free 2018 Razorback Soccer scarf with their purchase.
For more information on Razorback Soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.