NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Ashleigh Ellenwood netted her first-career hat trick and added an assist as Arkansas soccer defeated Yale 4-1 on Friday night at Reese Stadium. With the win, the Razorbacks improved to 3-0-0 for the third time in the last four seasons.
“This was a really big team win,” Ellenwood said. “My goals were really just great service from my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to get the ball in the goal without them. This team brings out the best in me and we bring out the best in each other.”
As Arkansas traveled to Yale for the first time in program history, little did the visitors know Ashleigh Ellenwood would do something the Razorbacks hadn’t seen in 14 years. Previously, the last Arkansas player to have a hat trick was Julie Williford, who had three in the 2001 season.
Ellenwood started towards that mark very early in the match.
The Razorbacks earned a free kick only a few seconds from the opening kick and it was Erika Miller who lined up to take it. Very similar to her assist on Gabriella DeLeon’s goal against SFA seven days earlier, Miller lofted a perfect pass into the box and Ellenwood outmuscled a defender to get a head on the ball and put it past Yale goalkeeper Rachel Ames for a 1-0 lead in the first minute of play.
In the 18th minute, however, the Bulldogs tied it up on a score from Sofia Griff and as time ticked down the teams looked to go into halftime in a 1-1 draw, but Ellenwood had other ideas. She received a pass from Claire Kelley on the run, took a dribble to corral the ball and unleashed a right-footed laser from the top of the box and into the bottom-left corner to put Arkansas up 2-1 at the break.
“In the first half I thought we were just okay; we didn’t seem like ourselves and Yale played very well,” head coach Colby Hale said. “In the second we were much more ourselves. Yale is a very talented and well-coached group and this was a good win.”
Fourteen minutes into that second half, Ellenwood achieved the third leg of her hat trick when she pulled up just inside the right sideline next to the penalty area and lofted a shot under the crossbar and into the back of the net. She capped her seven-point night with an assist on a goal by Reece Christopherson in the 71st minute; the second goal in the first three matches of Christopherson’s young Razorback career.
Arkansas is back in action on Sunday, Aug. 30, when the team continues its road trip to State College, Pa., where the team will face No. 6 Penn State. It will be the first-ever matchup between the Razorbacks and Nittany Lions, who have begun the season 2-0-0.
For more information on Razorback Soccer during the season, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.