FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Each week during the season, the Midweek Report will serve as a recap of the previous week of action for Arkansas Soccer, while previewing the week ahead and keeping up with national rankings and individual accolades.
Week 1 Recap
Arkansas won both of its first two games of the 2016 season in dramatic fashion, defeating James Madison 4-3 in double overtime and rallying to defeat VCU 2-1 to complete the weekend sweep in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Freshman midfielder Stefani Doyle’s six-point, three-goal weekend earned her the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week award, and freshman midfielder Kayla McKeon was named into TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Team of the Week following her four-point and two goal performance.
Arkansas is off to its fifth 2-0 start in five seasons under head coach Colby Hale and is seeking its fourth 3-0 start in five seasons that includes a program-best 7-0 start to the 2013 season. The Razorbacks are 20-10 all-time in home openers, including a perfect 4-0 mark under Hale. The Razorbacks last lost a home opener in 2008, dropping a 1-0 decision to Tulsa.
Arkansas welcomes No. 2-ranked and defending national runner-up Duke to Razorback Field for its home opener Friday night. Duke is the highest-ranked team to visit Razorback Field since No. 1 Florida State in 2012 and is the second-highest ranked team to ever visit Razorback Field.
Duke has made 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the NCAA Championship finals in 1992, 2011 and most recently, in 2015. Arkansas also met Duke in the NCAA Championship Sweet 16 in 2013, the Razorbacks’ deepest run in the NCAA Tournament, before falling to the Blue Devils in penalty kicks.
Dating back to 1999, Arkansas is 3-3-42 against ranked teams. All three wins have come under Hale, the most recent coming in 2013 on the road against No. 25 Kentucky.
Arkansas has ranked in the top 20 nationally in home attendance in each of the last two years, ranking 13th in 2014 (1,359 fans/game) and 19th in 2015 (1,283 fans/game). Arkansas has drawn six of the largest eight crowds in Razorback Field history in the last two years, including record crowds against Oklahoma State in 2014 (2,268 fans) and TCU in 2015 (2,337 fans).
The Friday night matchup with Duke will be the third annual “Break The Attendance Record Night” event at Razorback Field, and Arkansas has broken its home attendance for two consecutive seasons dating back to the 2014 season.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 23, Arkansas is one of four undefeated teams in the SEC and one of 79 undefeated teams nationally.
Doyle leads all SEC freshmen and is tied with two other freshmen with three goals and six points for the second-most goals and points by a freshman this season.
With Doyle and McKeon, Arkansas is one of three teams nationally, along with UNC Wilmington and Idaho State, with multiple freshmen with multiple goals this season.
The matchup between Arkansas and Duke feature two of the nation’s top-scoring offenses heading into the weekend. Duke leads the nation, averaging 6.0 goals per game, while Arkansas is tied for 15th nationally, averaging 3.0 goals per game.
How To Watch
The match will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ at 7 p.m. CST.
Season tickets are available for purchase through the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-HOGS (4647) or online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Each season ticket package will include a new 2016 Razorback Soccer scarf.
Single-game tickets are $5 and free for children 17 and under. Gates open one hour prior to kickoff.