FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas soccer team will take its eight-game winning streak on the road for Friday’s conference matchup with Georgia, the third SEC game for both teams. The Razorbacks (9-1, 2-0) are off to their best start in program history and are 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 1995. The Arkansas-Georgia game is set for a 6 p.m. CT start at the UGA Soccer Stadium.Arkansas opened SEC play with road wins at Ole Miss and Mississippi St. In the conference opener, the Razorbacks got goals from Kathleen Paulsen and Lindsay Patterson and a three-save shutout from Britni Williams to beat the Rebels, 2-0, breaking an 11-game losing streak to Ole Miss. Arkansas closed its weekend with a 1-0 win over Mississippi St. Beth McVean scored on a rebound at the 15:47 mark for the game’s only score.
“If you look at our start, we’re just one game better (in conference) than we were last year,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “The difference is in the past, we would go down hoping to win, but now we go in knowing that we can win if we play the way we’re capable.”Sophomore goalkeeper Britni Williams, playing behind the Razorbacks’ strong backline, has racked up seven shutouts this season and carries an SEC-best 0.413 goals against average. The average is also good for 15th in the country. Arkansas’ team GAA of 0.393 is ranked ninth in the NCAA.Offensively, the Razorbacks are led by Kelly O’Connor and Lindsay Patterson with 12 and 11 points, respectively, and each has five goals, tied for second most in the SEC. McVean and Paulsen are tied for third on the team with seven points. Arkansas has outscored its opponents, 24-3, during its eight-game win streak.The teams have split the last two meetings with each winning on the other’s home field, but the Razorbacks trail, 2-6-2, in the all-time series. Last season, Georgia traveled to Fayetteville and came away with a 1-0 win. Arkansas beat the Bulldogs in its last trip Athens, 2-1, in 2006.
“You will hear me say it week in and week out,” Henderson said. “Things don’t get any easier as we go through the SEC schedule. Both teams, Georgia and (Sunday’s opponent) Tennessee, have played very tough non-conference schedules so their records right now don’t really reflect how good these teams are.”
Georgia (2-7-1, 0-1-1) returns nine starters from last year’s squad, including four all-conference performers. Junior forward Carrie Patterson leads her team with nine points—three goals and assists—through the first ten games of the season. The Bulldogs have faced eight top-30 opponents this season and opened their conference schedule with a loss at Florida and a tie with South Carolina.
The Razorbacks are 5-0 on the road this season heading into their weekend matches at Georgia and Tennessee. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com for continued coverage of Arkansas soccer.