FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Fans who have been following Razorback soccer’s day-by-day countdown on social media know that the wait is almost over, and the time has finally come for some game action. On Thursday and Saturday, head coach Colby Hale’s squad heads out of town for back-to-back exhibition games in preparation for the 2015 regular season.
On Aug. 13, the team faces Oral Roberts, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a school which Arkansas head coach is quite familiar. Hale was a three-year letterman and two-year team captain at ORU and graduated in 1997. Also, before accepting the head coaching position at UCF in 2003, Hale was an assistant coach with the Golden Eagles for three years.
ORU returns some key players, including senior midfielder Ashley Martin – who netted three goals in 2014 – as well as senior defender Kaily Cox, an Academic All-American last season.
Arkansas then travels to Kansas City, Missouri on Aug. 15 for an exhibition against SEC rival Missouri. The Tigers are not on the Razorbacks’ conference schedule this season, so Hale and Missouri head coach Bryan Blitz set up the friendly match at a neutral site.
In 2014, the Tigers finished 12-7-3, which included a win against Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Lawrence, Kan. When Arkansas visited Columbia last season, Alexandra Fischer scored her sixth goal of the year to tie the match in the 54th minute, but Mizzou then-sophomore midfielder Lauren Selaiden scored the game-winner with 17 minutes remaining.
These exhibition matches are preparation for Arkansas’ season-opening weekend, when it plays Stephen F. Austin on Aug. 21 and TCU on Aug. 23. Both matches are at the friendly confines of Razorback Field.
For more information on Razorback Soccer during the preseason follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.