FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas soccer team will look to extend its four-game winning streak at this weekend’s Razorback Invitational with a Friday evening matchup against Western Michigan. The Razorbacks (5-1) will play host at the two-day event to teams from Missouri St., Nicholls St. and Friday’s opponent Western Michigan. Arkansas’ match Friday is set for a 7 p.m. start.
The Razorbacks will be seeking to avenge last season’s loss to the Broncos when the two teams met in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2007. Then-freshman Kelly Blenner scored at the 48:30 mark to give Western Michigan the lead and, ultimately, the victory. Arkansas outshot its opponent, 21-5, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Broncos’ Julia Francy made eight saves to earn the win, while Britni Williams had three stops for Arkansas.
“We’ll be looking to improve upon our performance (at Austin Peay) at our tournament,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We’ll have to play better to be successful. All of our eyes are on the Western Michigan game right now. We lost up there last year and I expect this to be a good game.”
In their last outing, the Razorbacks got an early goal from sophomore Kelly O’Connor and held off Austin Peay for the 1-0 win. The score was set up by an Abbey Wilburn free kick in the 20th minute of the game. The goal was the fourth of the season by O’Connor. The Razorbacks held Austin Peay to four shots and Williams had two saves to record her 10th career shutout.
Western Michigan (1-4) comes into the game off a 3-1 loss at Michigan State. Freshman Stephanie Skowneski leads the Broncos with four points and two goals. Blenner and Francy join seven other returning starters for Western Michigan. This will be just the second meeting between Arkansas and Western Michigan.
“I think it will be great for our fans to see a different team from a different area,” Henderson said. “(Western Michigan) is certainly a team that I think is better than their record shows right now. They’ve played a very tough schedule and I expect them to come down here with no fear and ready to play.”
Friday will also be Special Olympics Day as a group from the organization will be honored before the Razorbacks’ game. Roots Elementary will also be part of the day’s festivities as the winner of the Battle of the Elementary Schools promotion earlier this season.
Play at Razorback Field will begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday with game one of the tournament between Missouri St. and Nicholls St. Gates will open an hour before game time. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for more details and more news about Razorback soccer.