FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ soccer team plays just once this week, but it’s a big game as the Razorbacks entertain No. 7 Oklahoma State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Razorback Field.
Arkansas enters the game 1-1, including a 1-0 mark at home following last week’s 2-1 victory over SMU.
"We had a good performance against SMU and it was an exciting atmosphere," head coach Erin Aubry says. "The team played really, really well. We struggled for the first 20 minutes and then we made a system change. They did an unbelievable job of adapting to it in the flow of the game and figuring it out."
The Cowgirls were 20-4-2 a year ago and were 2-0 entering a home game on Friday against Oklahoma.
At No. 7, OSU is the highest-ranked opponent for Arkansas since a 4-3 loss to No. 2 Florida in 1999.
"Oklahoma State is very talented and physical," Aubry says. "They have a lot of strength, size and speed, and they are very well coached. We played them the last two springs, so we have a sense for how they play."
Arkansas is led by senior forward Kailey Anders, freshman midfielder Beth Stratton and freshman defender Sam Wolf, who all have one goal scored this season.
Anders leads the team with seven shot attempts, six shots on goal and an .857 shots on goal percentage. Stratton and Wolf each have a .500 shots on goal percentage while Stratton is second on the squad with six shot attempts and three on goal.
In goal, freshman Emily Lillard is 1-1 with 14 saves and a .737 saves percentage.
"This is a great experience, to get thrown into the fire," Aubry says. "We are about playing the best so we can be the best. That was the intention with the non-conference schedule. This will help prepare us for Southeastern Conference play. It will give us experience and we’ll see what we can do. It will be fun to see what we have."
Oklahoma State is the second of three straight games for Arkansas against members of the Big 12 Conference. Arkansas lost at Kansas on Sunday, 4-1, faces OSU on Sunday and goes to Nebraska next week. In addition, the Razorbacks played Oklahoma in an exhibition game.
Sunday is also Senior Day. Five Razorback student-athletes, Anders, Brittany Hudson, Daniella O’Shea, Chelsea Tidwell and Kendal Winston, are playing their final season for Arkansas.
Anders, Tidwell and Winston are true seniors while Hudson and O’Shea are juniors athletically but seniors academically and expected to graduate this year.
"This is a special group and we’re excited to be honoring them," Aubry says.