NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Arkansas soccer team fought to a scoreless draw with Vanderbilt Thursday night, continuing its unbeaten streak in conference play. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Harris tied a season-high with five saves and stayed unbeaten on the year.
“The team fought hard,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “It was a tale of two halves and conference games add a different element. We dealt with some adversity tonight and I’m proud of our effort. We will get back and prepare for a good Ole Miss team starting tomorrow.”
It’s the fifth shutout of the year for the Razorbacks, keeping them in the top five in Southeastern Conference and just two less than they had for the entire 2016 season. As for Harris, it’s her third full shutout of the year and second in the last three matches.
Arkansas now has four points in SEC play heading into Sunday’s match with Ole Miss and is one of five teams in the conference that is unbeaten through the first two league matches.
The scoreless tie was Arkansas’ first since 2014 at Alabama and fourth under Hale. Sophomore Stefani Doyle led all players with three shots in the game, but, as a team, Arkansas was held without a shot on goal for the first time this season.
Arkansas (6-4-1, 1-0-1 SEC) owned possession throughout regulation, outshooting the Commodores, 9-6, but were unable to put any of those shots on frame. In the extra periods, Vanderbilt (6-3-1, 1-0-1 SEC) was getting the best looks at net, but Arkansas played stout defense to keep the scoresheet blank.
Early on, the Razorbacks were able to get the ball into their attacking zone multiple times, earning four corners in the first half. However, each time Arkansas worked a set piece into the box, Vanderbilt was there to clear it away. Of the four corners in the first half, the Razorbacks were only able to get one shot off.
With 26 minutes left in the first half, Arkansas suffered a tough blow as freshman Parker Goins went down with an injury. She missed the remainder of the game, forcing the Razorbacks to play without their leading scorer for the first time this season.
Nonetheless, Arkansas continued to fight through the tough break and held Vanderbilt to just one shot in the first half. That shot in the 33rd minute was saved by Harris on a great dive to her left, one of two she made in regulation.
In the second half, one of Arkansas’ best chances came in the 64th minute when Doyle found space behind the Vanderbilt back line. After staying onside and receiving the timely pass, Doyle’s shot went just wide, keeping the match at 0-0.
Vanderbilt had the best chances in the overtime periods, outshooting Arkansas 6-1 in the final 20 minutes of play, but Harris had one of her best matches of the season between the pipes, tallying three of her five saves in the extra periods.
Arkansas returns home to finish the weekend when it faces Ole Miss on Sunday at Razorback Field. First kick is slated for 4 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network. Mike Watts (PXP) and Cat Whitehill (Analyst) will have the call.
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