FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ soccer team is home for its only contest of the week when the Razorbacks play host to Kennesaw State in a rare Sunday evening game at Razorback Field at 7 p.m.
Arkansas (3-1-0) hasn’t played since last Sunday when the Razorbacks suffered their first loss of the season, 4-0 at SMU.
KSU is 1-3-0 after losing to No. 21 Tennessee on Friday, 2-0.
"They are good," head coach Colby Hale says. "They will be super competitive. They traditionally have an international flavor to them and they’ve done really well recently in their conference. We expect what we expect every game – a fight. This is an opportunity for them to come to a Southeastern Conference school and show their merit. Our expectation is that our girls will play hard and play well."
The Owls, who were 7-8-2 a year ago, should not be intimidated by playing an SEC member. KSU lost at home to Alabama on Aug. 17, 1-0, and Friday’s 2-0 losswas at home to Tennessee.
Arkansas allowed just one goal, and that was on a penalty kick, in its first three games, before SMU scored four times last week.
"When we put in extraordinary effort, stick to the game plan and play as a group, we’re pretty good," Hale says. "We compete. When we don’t, we’re going to get smacked and we did, and SMU is very good. You have to give them credit. They played very well.
"The good news is what went wrong at SMU is fixable," he says. "SMU created some tactical problems we hadn’t seen and we can solve those. It definitely left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and we are ready to go make it right on Sunday."
To correct what was wrong, Hale says his club doesn’t need to change anything.
"The reality is we’re 3-1," he says. "Three of those were pretty good and one of them wasn’t. We don’t need to make changes. We just need to be true to who we are."
With just one game this week, Hale and his staff have been able to work on that in practice.
The Razorbacks have focused on weights, technical and tactical work, and watched video.
"We want to show them what it looks like on video when they do it well and show them some of the areas we need to make sure we stay consistent," he says.
Arkansas’ 3-1-0 mark through four games ties for the third-best in program history. Hale’s "blue-collar" mentality has resulted in a balanced attack. The Razorbacks have 56 shots and 25 shots on goal for a .446 shots on goal percentage, and four different Razorbacks have goals while six different players have assists.
Defensively, Arkansas is allowing 1.25 goals per game after last year’s club allowed 2.68. Opponents have 48 shots with 19 shots on goal for a shots on goal percentage of .396.
Following the Kennesaw State game, the Razorbacks are off for another week before playing host to Florida State on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.