FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas women’s soccer team had its best offensive night of the year on Sunday evening, as they collected season-highs in both goals (6) and shots (30) to defeat Missouri State 6-1.
After playing to a scoreless draw on Friday night, the Arkansas offense came out firing on Sunday as they scored the most goals at Razorback Field since 2008 and bested its previous season-high of 22 shots set in their last game against Rice.
Junior Ashleigh Ellenwood got the scoring started in the third minute of the game, as she headed a shot into the goal after sophomore Alexandra Fischer sent the ball into the box off a corner kick. It was the third goal of the season for the Michigan City, Ind., native and the 23rd of her career, moving her just one goal behind Heather Cato for sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Redshirt junior Margaret Power extended the Razorback lead with a header goal in the 19th minute. Ellenwood served the ball into the box off a throw in and sophomore Claire Kelley headed the ball into the air. Power used her height to win the volley over a pair of Missouri State players to head in her second goal in three games.
Arkansas took advantage of another set piece for its third goal of the half, as Erika Miller sent a shot into the left hand side of the goal after sophomore Dee Dee Green crossed the ball into the 18-yard box on a corner.
The Razorbacks did not yield in the second half, as Ellenwood collected her second goal of the game in the 64th minute to give her team a commanding 4-0 lead. The goal put her in a tie for sixth with Cato on the school’s all-time goal list.
Senior Tyler Allen assisted in Ellenwood’s second goal of the night, giving her 14 for her career and moving her into a ninth-place tie on the school’s all-time assist list. Allen would have more company on that list just minutes later, as Ellenwood handed out an assist on sophomore Claire Kelley’s goal to give her the 14th helper of her career and tie Allen’s career mark.
The career-best six points tonight gives Ellenwood 62 career points, making her just the sixth player in program history to collect 60 or more points.
After the team’s fifth goal, Arkansas got chance to test its depth, as they brought out a new set of field players to finish the game.
Missouri State end any hope of back-to-back shutout performances from sophomore goalkeeper Cameron Carter, in the 71st minute, as Pfeiffer Makenzie gave the Bears their first goal of the game.
Arkansas answered with another goal in the 77th minute, as a pair of career first helped the Razorbacks push their lead back out to five goals.
Freshman Katie Kienstra played a perfect through ball to classmate Abby Sieperda, who got behind the Bear defense and had a one-on-one breakaway against the MSU goalkeeper. Sieperda was able to dodge the keeper and fire a shot that rolled into a wide-open net from 30 yards out. It was the first career goal for Siperda and the first assist for Kienstra.
The Razorbacks dominated the stat sheet on Sunday night, as they won the shot battle 30-4 and 14-2 in shots on goal. Arkansas also collected 11 corners, while Missouri State managed just three.
Arkansas will be back in action next Friday, as they open up Southeastern Conference play against Kentucky. Start time from Razorback Field is set for 7:05 p.m. and will be live on the SEC Network+ via ESPN3.com and the Watch ESPN app.
- Arkansas is 28-20-4 in the Colby Hale era.
- The Razorbacks own a 101-86-15 record at Razorback Field.
- Arkansas is now 17-7-2 in 25 home games under Hale.
- Tonight’s attendance of 1,221 marks the third time in four home games this season the Razorbacks have drawn over 1,000 fans.
- The six goals were the most scored in a single game this season by the Razorbacks.
- The 30 shots for Arkansas tonight is a season-high.
- The 6-1 victory was the largest margin of victory for Arkansas at Razorback Field since Sept. 21, 2008 when they defeated Nicholls State, 7-0.
- The six goals were the most Arkansas goals at Razorback Field since Sept. 21, 2008 when they scored seven against Nicholls State.
- The six points (2 goals, 2 assists) is a career-high for Ashleigh Ellenwood and gives her 62 in her career, making her just the sixth player in school history to record 60 or more points.
- The two goals for Ellenwood gives her 24 in her career and moves her into a sixth-place tie with Heather Cato (1996-99) on the school’s all-time goal list.
- The two assists tonight puts Ellenwood into the top 10 of the school’s all-time assists list. The junior now has 14 assists in her career, putting her in a ninth-place tie with Andie Hickman (1993-96) and teammate Tyler Allen.
- Tyler Allen’s assist also gives her 14 in her career, putting her in a tie for ninth all-time.
- Claire Kelley posted a career-high three points tonight (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Margaret Power scored her second goal in three games tonight and now has four goals in her career.
- Erika Miller and Abby Sieperda each scored their first career goal on Sunday.
- Dee Dee Green and Alexandra Fischer each handed out their first career assist.
Head Coach Colby Hale
On scoring six goals in the final non-conference game – “It was good. I think we have been playing well. We created enough chances against Rice to score quite a few. We told the team, you may get concerned if you aren’t creating enough chances, but we are. We also told them, if you keep doing what you are doing, they will go in.”
On opportunities from corner kicks – “Our service was fantastic. Sparky (Fischer) served some good balls, Tyler (Allen) had some good ones. We were just super aggressive on the first and second ball and it worked out for us.”
On the offense starting to click – “I think Ashleigh (Ellenwood) and Claire (Kelley) played their best game. They were very, very good. I thought the midfield was fantastic in terms of work. The backs did a good job of limiting chances. Cameron (Carter) did what she needed to. Overall, it was a good team win.”
On how the non-conference schedule prepared the team for conference – “We just learned they are tough. They fight, they grind. They have a ton of confidence. I think going in, knowing we played some of the toughest teams in the country, we feel prepared. We feel ready to go and are looking forward to Kentucky on Friday.”
Midfielder Tyler Allen
On the win – “I think the connection up top and with the midfield was working. We had really dynamic runs. Finishing the ball. The last couple of games, we haven’t been able to score much so tonight to be able to finish those opportunities was really great.”
On executing corner kicks – “We always work on our set pieces. We have girls who are amazing out of the air. We definitely keep working on those so we can finish those in the game.”
On getting ready for conference play – “We have had some really great non-conference games, some really challenging teams. Very different styles of play just really prepared us for anything in the SEC. We are really excited to start conference games.”
Forward Ashleigh Ellenwood
On offensive performance – “I think we really connected. It is something we really focused on this week after our two games in North Carolina. I am really happy after having a lot of different games of not scoring, we are finally coming back.”
On teamwork – “We have been connecting more as a team. Our set pieces, we have been setting more. To have the service from the girls who are good in the air, it is just really good that everything is connecting before SEC.”
On the benefit of having experience on the team – “Experience is a big deal. We definitely have experience. Going into SEC, we have a lot of momentum. I am really excited to see how it turns out.”
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