FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas scored one goal in its soccer season-opener at Razorback Field and that was all the scoring the Razorbacks needed in a 1-0 victory over Florida International on Sunday.
Last year’s leading goal scorer, sophomore Allie Chandler, gave the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead at the 30:52 mark. Her left-footer from just to the right of the goal was good from around 25 yards. Chandler also had the goal in last week’s 1-1 tie in the exhibition game at St. Louis.
"We worked hard over the summer and this is the most fit our players have been," head coach Erin Aubry said. "We have improved team chemistry this year. FIU is a scrappy team. They won their conference last year (Sun Belt at 9-1-1). They exposed us in some areas and we’ll be able to learn from that."
Arkansas is 1-0 and won its opener for the fourth straight year. The Razorbacks are 13-11-1 all-time in season-openers. Arkansas has won six consecutive non-conference home games.
For the game, Arkansas doubled up FIU on shots, 20-10. Arkansas also doubled the Panthers on corner kicks, 4-2. Ten of UA’s shots were on goal while FIU had seven on goal.
In the first half, Arkansas more than tripled FIU on shot attempts, 10-3. The Razorbacks had five shots on goal to two for the Panthers. The Razorbacks also had the only corner kick.
"We had a chance to play 90 full minutes and some of our newcomers got some experience," Aubry said.
Aubry got 17 players into the game. Keeper Britni Williams, who extended her school record for shutouts to 23, played all 90 minutes. Defenders Kailey Anders, Laurel Pastor, Kelly O’Connor and Melanie Foncham also played the entire game.
Williams had seven saves for the game and now has 265 for her career, which ranks fifth on the school’s all-time chart. She is also second all-time in victories with 27, trailing leader Carrie Dillsaver by just one.
The Razorbacks are now on the road for five straight. They play at Stephen F. Austin on Friday, followed games against Miami and Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, Fla., and trips to Missouri and Missouri State.
The next home game is Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. against St. Mary’s.
Download: ark,fiu box.pdf