PROVIDENCE, R.I.- The Arkansas soccer team endured a tough back-and-forth battle with Providence on Sunday but was not able to come out on the winning side, falling to the Friars, 4-3, at Chapey Field.
Sophomore Stefani Doyle scored twice in the match, her first multi-goal performance of the season. Her second score, which came in the 51st minute seemed like it was going to be the game-winner for the Razorbacks (4-4-0), but the Friars (3-4-0) roared back with two more goals of their own in the 81st and 83rd minute to earn the victory.
Doyle is the fifth Razorback to score two or more goals in a match this season and she now has three on the year. She also upped her point total to 10, making her the second Arkansas player, along with Parker Goins, to have 10 or more points through the first eight matches of the season.
Arkansas 1, Providence 0 – 5th Minute
The Razorbacks got off to a torrid pace to start the match, owning possession in their half of the field from the get-go. In the fifth minute, freshman Haley VanFossen got the Razorbacks on the board with her first goal of the season off a nice pass from sophomore Tori Cannata. VanFossen was able to find herself in the perfect spot after two shot attempts were blocked from near point-blank range. VanFossen right-footed in the second rebound for the early score.
VanFossen is the seventh different freshman to find the scoresheet this season. Of Arkansas’ 27 goals this year, 16 have come from the feet of first-year players.
Arkansas 2, Providence 0 – 9th Minute
Just four minutes later, Arkansas lit up the scoreboard again. This time it was Doyle’s first of the day and Cannata came up with another assist. Doyle was able to break through the back line after the great through ball and finish to the keeper’s right.
The two-goal lead did not last into halftime as Providence answered back with goals of their own in the 17th and 37th minutes. The first came off a rebound after freshman goalkeeper Rachel Harris made a terrific save. The second came from a Friars penalty kick as Arkansas was called for the foul in the left part of the box near the end line.
Cannata only had one assist in her career prior to today’s match, but was able to secure two points for herself after having a hand in both of Arkansas’ opening scores.
Arkansas 3, Providence 2 – 51st Minute
Doyle was nearly the hero of the match when she found the side netting midway through the second half for her second score of the game. The sophomore finished a nice combination play in the attacking third to complement some crisp passing from Kayla McKeon and Carly Hoke, who garnered the assists.
Unfortunately, with a lot of time left on the clock, the Friars came back to tie the match in the 81st minute and then take the lead in the 83rd minute off a corner kick from the right.
Arkansas returns home next week for its next two matches. The Razorbacks will open conference play on Friday against Mississippi State at Razorback Field. First kick is slated for 7 p.m. Two days later, Arkansas will dip back into non-conference play when it faces Oral Roberts on Sunday at 5 p.m. Both matches will be televised on SEC Network+.
For more information on Razorback Soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.