FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Coming off its first loss in three weeks, Arkansas’ soccer team looks to rebound against possibly its toughest opponent of the year Thursday at South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are ranked No. 10 in the nation and own the best record in the Southeastern Conference at 14-1-1.
Arkansas faced its first ranked opponent on Sunday and fell at home to No. 21 Ole Miss, 1-0, in overtime.
Following the game at USC, the Razorbacks are back home on Sunday for a 12:07 p.m. contest against No. 12 Florida. The Florida game is being televised by Cox Sports Television.
Before the Gators, however, Arkansas must focus on South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 8-0-0 at home this year. USC enters the week tied for second in the SEC with 106 points (6.50), tied for second with 36 goals, third with 2.25 goals per game, tied for first with 32 assists (2.0), first with six goals allowed, first with a 0.37 goals against average and first with 11 shutouts.
Arkansas has played well, too. The Razorbacks are 8-4-4 overall and 2-4-2 in the SEC. Prior to Sunday’s loss to the Rebels, Arkansas was 2-0-2 in its four previous games. The Razorbacks had not lost or allowed a goal since a 2-1 setback at Auburn on Oct. 2. Since then, Arkansas had a 0-0, double-overtime tie at Alabama, a 2-0 win at Vanderbilt, a 0-0, double-overtime tie at Kentucky and a 1-0 win over Mississippi State.
The Razorbacks are second in the SEC with 278 shots (17.38), tied for second in goals allowed (0.56), second in goals against average (0.53), tied for second with 86 saves and second with 10 shutouts.
In league play only, Arkansas is second with 144 shots, tied for third with six goals allowed, first with 60 saves and tied for second with four shutouts.
Arkansas enters the week eighth in the SEC standings, which would qualify the Razorbacks for the eight-team SEC Tournament. Arkansas has eight points and trails seventh-place Auburn by one, but the Razorbacks are just one point ahead of both Alabama and Kentucky, and two points ahead of Vanderbilt.
Arkansas has not participated in the SEC Tournament since 2000.
Individually, overall Allie Chandler is fifth and Laurel Pastor seventh with 60 and 51 shots, respectively, and Ally Atkins tied for 10th with four assists. Keeper Britni Williams, who owns the school record with 22 career shutouts, is third in goals against average (0.55), second with an .899 save percentage, third with 80 saves and tied for second with nine shutouts.
After the USC and Florida games, Arkansas closes the regular season with the 7 p.m. home match against No. 17 LSU on Oct. 30.