LEXINGTON, Ky. – A couple of set piece goals separated by 13 seconds in the first half was all the Arkansas women’s soccer team needed to defeat Kentucky, 2-0, Sunday afternoon in Lexington.
Senior Jessi Hartzler and freshman Abbi Neece both scored headers off corner kicks from freshman Parker Goins in the 15th and 16th minutes, respectively. It was Hartzler fourth goal of the year and Neece’s second. As for Goins, the multi- assist match was her third of the season and she continues to lead the team with 22 points on the year.
“We’ve found ways to win on the road and that’s no small thing,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “We will enjoy the win tonight and get ready for a good Tennessee team on Thursday.”
Arkansas (9-8-1, 4-4-1 SEC) kept up the defensive pressure on Kentucky (7-12-0, 2-7-0 SEC) for the entire 90 minutes, creating numerous chances on the offensive end from counter attacks and set pieces.
The Razorbacks outshot the Wildcats 17-4 and put seven shots on target. The 17 shots equals the team’s amount from its’ 1-0 win over LSU last week and is its seventh-highest shot output of the season.
In the net, redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Harris made just one save in the match, but was able to pick up her sixth win in between the pipes. All of Arkansas’ defense had a hand in Sunday’s shutout as Kentucky didn’t manage its first shot on goal until the second half and only recorded four shots for the entire game.
The clean sheet is Arkansas’ eighth of the year and fifth of conference play. All 13 of the Razorbacks’ conference points have come by way of the shutout.
The win is also Arkansas’ third-straight conference road victory. 10 of the team’s 13 conference points have come away from Razorback Field.
Arkansas 1, Kentucky 0 – 15th Minute
The Razorbacks already had two shots on goal in the opening minutes of the game and were clearly setting the pace. They were able to get their first corner from the left side of the field and Goins placed the ball perfectly near the far post where Hartzler was there to send it home. It’s the second game-winner of the year for Hartzler and the 12th goal of her career. All 12 of Hartzler’s goals have come in the last two seasons.
Arkansas 2, Kentucky 0 – 16th Minute
Arkansas didn’t need much time before it got its second goal of the game. Just 13 seconds after Hartzler’s score, Arkansas got another corner kick and went to Goins again to take it. This time from the opposite side of the field and with the opposite leg, Goins’ kicked a ball toward the near post and found the head of Neece, who propelled it past the Kentucky keeper near the left post.
It’s Neece’s first goal since Aug. 27 against Abilene Christian and gives her six points for the year. Neece becomes the eighth Razorback with five or more points for the year and has the fourth-most points among Arkansas freshmen.
The Razorbacks return home for the final regular-season match of the year on Thursday when they host 11th-ranked Tennessee. It will also be Senior Day at Razorback Field as Jessi Hartzler, Jordan Harris, Katie Kienstra, Reid Sibley, Qyara Winston, and Hannah Neece will each be honored prior to the match.
First kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. and Senior Day ceremonies will begin roughly 10 minutes prior to the match. The match between the Razorbacks and Volunteers will be televised online on SEC Network+.
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