ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – After finishing the regular season 9-9-1 overall and 4-5-1 in conference play, the Razorback Soccer team will begin SEC Tournament play in Orange Beach, Alabama on Sunday. It’s the fifth appearance in six years under head coach Colby Hale.
The Razorbacks were able to secure the eight-seed in the tournament and will face nine-seed Ole Miss in the first round on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. Arkansas last faced Ole Miss at home on Sept. 24, but fell to the then 20th-ranked Rebels, 1-0.
If Arkansas advances, it will face top-seed South Carolina in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Three of Arkansas’ four conference wins came on the road this year and 10 of its 13 conference points came away from Razorback Field. The three SEC wins on the road is the second most in a season under Hale.
The Razorbacks enter the tournament with the third-best scoring offense in the SEC at 2.05 goals scored per game. Only Tennessee (2.39) and Ole Miss (3.00) rank higher than Arkansas in goals scored per game.
Freshman Parker Goins continues to lead the squad with eight goals and 22 points, but the scoring has been spread pretty evenly throughout the team. Freshman Taylor Malham ranks second on the team with five goals to her name, including one in Thursday’s regular season finale against No. 19 Tennessee. Also, sophomore Stefani Doyle and senior Katie Kienstra have four goals each. Doyle ties for the team lead (Goins, Nayeli Perez) with a career-high six assists.
Defensively, Arkansas’ defense has been one of note this season. Overall, the Razorbacks have totaled eight shutouts this year, ranking third in the SEC. All 13 of their conference points and seven of their nine victories have come by way of the clean sheet. It’s the most shutouts in a season by an Arkansas team since 2013.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Harris has racked up a 0.88 goals against average in conference play and she’s on pace to have one of the best goals against averages in a single season in Razorback history. In 10 conference games this year, Harris has allowed just nine goals, fourth-fewest in the league.
Sunday’s match with the Rebels will be broadcast on the SEC Network and also available via WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
Live stats for the match will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
>> Arkansas secured the eight-seed of the 2017 SEC Tournament with a 4-5-1 conference record. It will face nine-seed Ole Miss in Sunday’s first round. The winner will face top-seeded South Carolina on Tuesday.
>> This will be the second time Arkansas has played Ole Miss this season. Last time out, the Rebels squeaked by the Razorbacks with a 1-0 victory. Arkansas has earned a result in two of its last four matches against Ole Miss.
>> Of Arkansas’ nine wins this season, seven have come by way of a shutout and all 13 points in conference play were by shutout also. Arkansas’ eight shutouts tie for third in the SEC and is the most since 2013.
>> In those eight shutouts, the Razorback defense has held opponents to 17 shots or less and a .338 shot on goal percentage. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Harris has six full shutouts this year.
>> Senior Jessi Hartzler has been Arkansas’ ironwoman over the last two years. This season, she has started all 18 matches and logged 1,619 minutes. In 2016, she started every match (24) and logged 2,108 out of a possible 2,220 minutes.
>> Since Colby Hale became the head coach in 2013, Arkansas has only missed the SEC Tournament one time.
>> Freshman Parker Goins still leads the team in goals (8) and points (22) heading into the conference tournament. Both are top-five totals among all SEC players.
>> With one more victory, Arkansas will have secured its ninth 10-win season in school history and third under head coach Colby Hale.
>> 21 of Arkansas’ 39 goals this season have come from freshmen. Freshmen Parker Goins (8) and Taylor Malham (5) lead all Razorback goal scorers this year.
>> Goalkeeper Jordan Harris has a 0.79 goals against average in 2017, ranking fourth among SEC keepers with 1,000 or more minutes and is on pace to be a top-two total in Arkansas’ all-time single-season records.
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