FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas soccer team opens Southeastern Conference play this weekend as it will host Mississippi State on Friday at 7 p.m. at Razorback Field. The Razorbacks are hoping to bounce back from back-to-back losses last week at UConn and at Providence and are opening conference play against the Bulldogs for the second-straight season.
After taking on Mississippi State, Arkansas will dip back into non-conference play for the final time in 2017 as Oral Roberts comes to Fayetteville on Sunday. First kick is slated for 5 p.m. Both matches this weekend will be available for viewing on SEC Network+.
The Razorback offense has been one of the strongest in the nation as SEC play begins as their 27 goals are the second most in the conference and third in the nation. Freshman Parker Goins continues to lead the team with five goals to her name. She’s also added four assists, giving her a team-leading 14 points, which puts her in the top-15 in the nation and third in the SEC.
Goins leads a core group of freshmen that have jump started the Arkansas offense through the first eight games. Of Arkansas’ 27 goals, 16 have been scored by freshmen, most recently by Haley VanFossen at Providence on Sunday. Those 16 scores ties by first-year players ties with Ole Miss for the most in the league.
It hasn’t been all freshmen, however. Sophomore Stefani Doyle secured her first brace of the season last week against Providence, scoring twice in the 4-3 loss to the Friars. Doyle now has three goals this season along with 10 points, making her one of two Razorbacks with 10 or more points through the first eight matches. Doyle now has nine goals in her career, tying her for second among all active Razorbacks.
Both matches this weekend can be viewed on SEC Network+, the online-only arm of the SEC Network via Watch ESPN. Benjamin Kelly (PXP) and former Razorback Kat Devenport (Analyst) will have the call on Friday. Josh Haley (PXP) will join Kat in the booth on Sunday. Live stats for both matches will also be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
>> Arkansas is back at Razorback Field this weekend as it plays host to Mississippi State for its conference opener on Friday. The Razorbacks have won 13 of the last 14 matches against the Bulldogs dating back to 2003.
>> The Razorbacks will dip back into non-conference play for the final time of 2017 when it faces Oral Roberts on Sunday. Arkansas hasn’t faced ORU since 2009, but owns a 10-2 all-time record against the Golden Eagles.
>> Arkansas is 10-13-1 in SEC openers dating back to 1993, its’ first season in the conference. Under head coach Colby Hale, the Razorbacks are 2-3 in SEC openers.
>> Last week against Providence, sophomore Stefani Doyle scored her second and third goals of the season, securing her first brace of the year. Doyle now has 10 points this season, joining Parker Goins as the only Arkansas players with 10 or more points through the first eight matches.
>> Sophomore Tori Cannata earned two points to her name on Sunday as she provided two assists against Providence. Cannata only had one career assist prior to the match.
>> Freshman Parker Goins scored her team-leading fifth goal of the year Thursday at UConn on a free kick from nearly 30 yards out. Goins still ranks fourth in the SEC and 24th in the nation in total goals scored.
>> Goins’ 14 points through the first eight matches is the most by a Razorback over the last three seasons and ties Ashleigh Ellenwood from the 2014 season, who had four goals and six assists through eight matches.
>> Seven different freshmen have scored at least one goal so far this season. 16 out of Arkansas’ 27 goals have come from the feet of freshmen, five from Parker Goins. The eight freshmen goals are the second most in the SEC.
>> Arkansas continues to have one of the best offenses in the country as its goals per game average of 3.38, good for fourth in the nation and second in the SEC.
>> The 27 goals scored through the first eight matches is the most Arkansas has ever scored over that span in program history. Last year, Arkansas scored 23 times in eight matches. In 1987, the Hogs netted 25 goals over the first eight matches.
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