FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time since the 1994 season, the Arkansas soccer team (10-5-0, 3-4-0) knocked off Kentucky with a 3-1 win Friday night at Razorback Field. The victory snaps the Wildcats’ 10-game unbeaten streak against the Razorbacks and ends UA’s four-game losing streak. Arkansas’ three goals—from Kathleen Paulsen, Lauren Hallauer and Abbey Wilburn—are the highest conference total since a 5-0 victory over Alabama in 2006.
“This definitely helps because it was a four-game skid that was stopped,” head coach Gordon Henderson said. “It wasn’t that it was just a four-game skid, it was about some of those games we lost during that period of time. So to get back in the win column is fantastic.
“(Kentucky) is a team we haven’t beaten since 1994, so it’s been a long time coming and we’ve been on the end of some games against this team in overtime or last second. To win this one is really nice for the older players, too.”
For the third game in a row, the Razorbacks jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Paulsen knocked a header past Kentucky goalkeeper Sydney Hiance at the 18:36 mark. Rachel Smith served a deep into the box from 30 yards out and Paulsen elevated for the score, her fourth of the season.
Arkansas held the Wildcats to just one shot in the first period and went into halftime with the one-goal lead.
Just over 13 minutes into the second half, Kentucky (3-10-2, 1-5-1) knotted the game up with a penalty kick by Laura Novikoff. The Wildcat forward beat Arkansas keeper Britni Williams with a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal at the 58:09 mark.
“The penalty (kick) was a little against the run of play,” Henderson said. “So for me, that wasn’t a case of losing that lead, that’s just something that happens in the game sometimes. What pleased me was how we responded to that because I think in games past our heads would have been down a bit. I don’t think there’s any question that once they tied the game, we took the game back to them.”
Arkansas played the aggressor in the final 45 minutes of play, outshooting its opponent, 8-3. Five of those shots were on goal. The Razorbacks finished the game with seven shots on goal.
In the 77th minute of the game, Hallauer lined up inside the midfield circle to take a free shot after a Kentucky foul. Looking to set up a teammate, the sophomore defender booted a ball into the box, over a group of players crowded in front of the goal and past Hiance for Arkansas’ second goal. It is the first goal of Hallauer’s Razorback career.
“There was a little bit of luck attached to (the second goal), but you need that sometimes.” Henderson said.
Kentucky made a switch at goalkeeper and brought in Laura Burton to replace Hiance. The new face in goal didn’t throw the Razorbacks as they added a third goal at the 81:39 to pad the lead. Lindsay Patterson broke up the left side of the field and made a pass across the field to Wilburn breaking into the box. The senior midfielder beat Burton far post for her second goal of the season.
Arkansas will look to add a second straight win Sunday when it faces Vanderbilt at Razorback Field. The game is slated for 1 p.m. start. For continued coverage of UA soccer, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.