FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time in program history, the University of Arkansas soccer team is 3-0 after its victory Sunday over Missouri State, 2-0, at Razorback Field. Allie Chandler scored the first goal of her collegiate career with a score in the first half and Ally Atkins padded the Arkansas lead with a goal in the 82nd minute. The Razorbacks’ previous best start came during the 1992 season when the team was 3-0-1.
"I am very pleased with how our team played today," head coach Erin Aubry said. "We started out a little slow because we had a few tired legs from Friday’s game, but the good thing is we are deep and were able to make a lot of substitutions. I’ve noticed that we are starting to solve the teams that are defending us and that will be good for us when we start the conference season."
Arkansas used early pressure up top to earn a couple of corner kicks in the first three minutes of play. The work paid off at the 7:46 mark when an unguarded Chandler charged down the middle of the box to knock a deflection into the back of the Missouri State goal. Laurel Pastor’s originating shot was just high and rang off the crossbar but Chandler was there waiting for the putback.
The Razorbacks outshot their opponents, 7-2, in the first half and totaled a 17-8 advantage for the match, but Arkansas’ aggressive style led to 10 offside calls. With its depth off the bench, however, Arkansas used 20 players during the match.
Behind the offensive charge, goalkeeper Britni Williams collected four saves against the Bears, none bigger than a stop in the middle of a Missouri State push at the 61:37 mark. After a corner kick was knocked around the Arkansas box, Becky Handley was in position to tie the match from eight yards out but Williams stood her ground and deflected the ball high and over the crossbar.
The home team’s second goal came after a scramble at midfield and a long pass was sent toward the Bears’ goal. Atkins and Missouri State goalkeeper Jessica Teahan both converged but the Razorback junior used a better angle to the ball to make first contact to get it around Teahan and into the back of the net at the 81:53 mark.
Arkansas nearly tacked on a third goal when, off a corner kick, Kathleen Paulsen headed a ball toward the goal but a Bear defender was lined up near the post to knocked the ball away. With the win, the Razorbacks have defeated Missouri State in six of the last seven meetings between the two teams.
"I’m proud of our team starting out 3-0 for the first time in program history, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s just another game for us," Aubry said. "We’re taking it one game at a time and that’s the way we’re going to look at it during SEC play."
That next opportunity comes Sept. 3 when Arkansas travels to Tulsa for a 7:35 p.m. matchup at Hurricane Soccer Stadium. It will be the first of two matches that weekend in Tulsa as the Razorbacks will play Oral Roberts on Sept. 6 at the ORU Soccer Complex. For more information, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.