FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ soccer team is in its second week of fall practice, and first-year head coach Colby Hale likes what he sees.
"Training is good, so far," he says. "The team dynamic is good, training is sharp and the mentality is fantastic. The girls have come to work."
Hale was hired in December and was able to work with the team during a spring exhibition season, which included a 2-0 win at Tulsa, a 3-0 win in the annual Alumni Game against former Razorbacks and a 1-1 tie at Saint Louis.
"We’ve been imprinting attacking ideas, evaluating possible pairings and working on defensive shape," Hale says. "Coming into the preseason, we had some unanswered questions concerning the back four. (Assistant coach) Ben (Strawbridge) and the back four have made unbelievable strides. It’s really exciting to see the progress. The goalkeepers are playing with tremendous confidence and the attacking group is going to be a handful."
Hale gets a chance to measure the progress this week. Arkansas plays an exhibition game at Oklahoma State on Saturday at 7 p.m.
"The girls are really looking forward to the trip to OSU and the match," he says. "It will be a great tool to evaluate where we are as a team."
Arkansas opens the season on Aug. 17 at home against Austin Peay at 7 p.m. and follows with two more home games – Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. against Texas and Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. against Missouri State.