FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas got a goal from Sam Wolf in the 62nd minute and held off several late attacks by Auburn for a 1-0 Southeastern Conference soccer victory over the Tigers at Razorback Field on Sunday.
The win is Arkansas’ first over the Tigers since 2000, and improved the Razorbacks to 7-8-1 overall and 4-5-1 in the SEC. The Tigers are now 9-8-0 and 5-5-0.
"It wasn’t pretty, but we got the result," head coach Colby Hale said. "We want to be a team that grinds out wins, and that’s what we did today. We dodged a bullet or two, but earlier this year we had some games that didn’t go our way. We had players fighting for 90 minutes with heavy legs and they deserve the win. We’re really proud of them."
The only score came at 61:45 after an Auburn foul in the deep right corner, just outside the 18. Allie Tripp played the free kick from about 23 yards away into the six, and Wolf stepped up from the back side and headed the shot into the right corner of the goal.
The Tigers put pressure on the Arkansas defense the rest of the way, but the Razorbacks turned back each attempt. At the 75-minute mark, Kala Faulkner took a hard shot from the top of the 18, but it went high over the crossbar. In the 78th minute, keeper Kelly Roliard punched out a corner by the Tigers, and Faulkner’s follow shot again went high, this time from the edge of the six.
In the 83rd minute, Tori Ball got to the corner of the defense and fired a hard shot at the right post, but Roliard dove to her left to knock the ball out. A minute later, a Razorback foul gave the Tigers their last good chance with a free kick from the left corner outside the 18. Ana Cate shot into the Razorback wall, which bounced toward midfield. Cate took the follow shot, a hard liner, but Roliard made the save.
Roliard finished with a career-high seven saves.
The Tigers had 17 shots with seven on goal while Arkansas had eight shots with three on goal.
The game was also Senior Day with Andrea Carlson and Allie Chandler closing their home careers.
"Those kids have a special place in our hearts," Hale said. "They will be sorely missed, but I’m really excited about the successes we’re having this year for them."
Carlson is from Tulsa and Chandler is from Mesquite, Texas.
"It hasn’t really hit me yet that this is our last home game," Carlson said. "We’re still looking forward to playing more games, but everything has ended great this year."
"This is great," Chandler said. "Everything fell into place this season."
Neither team generated many good opportunities in the first half. Both clubs had six shots with two shots on goal.
Auburn missed a chance early with a flurry of three shots, all inside the box. Mary Coffed hit the first off the left post. Ashley Kotero got the rebound, but her shot was blocked. Coffed played a shot off the block, but her second attempt bounced off the crossbar before the Razorbacks cleared.
Chandler had Arkansas’ first shot on goal around the 25-minute mark, splitting the defense and hit a hard shot from 22 yards away, but Auburn’s Amy Howard made the save.
With 11 minutes left in the period, a Tiger foul gave Arkansas a free kick above the left corner of the 18. Allie Tripp played the kick into the six, and Ashleigh Ellenwood was just short of getting to the ball for a close header attempt. Tripp later had a header inside the six, but Howard made another save.
Auburn had three corners in the period, but Ellenwood headed two of those out of the box for easy clears by the Razorbacks.
Arkansas closes its regular season on the road next weekend at Missouri and Mississippi State, and at LSU the following week.
Download: ark, auburn box.pdf