FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two goals in the span of three minutes in a soggy second half helped the Arkansas soccer team close out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 3-1 win over Oral Roberts Sunday afternoon at Razorback Field.
After getting an own goal from Oral Roberts in the first half, Arkansas fought through some heavy rain to get its own players on the scoresheet in the second half. Freshman Parker Goins and senior Jessi Hartzler both found the back of the net to lead their team to its sixth win of the year.
“It wasn’t pretty, at times, but we got the win, and that’s what matters,” Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “We came back after a good SEC match on Friday and played like we are supposed to. We found a way to win today. We told ourselves we have to find a way to play a full 90 minutes. Overall, I think this match and this weekend, as a whole, is going to help us in the long run.”
It was a nice bounce back for the Razorbacks (6-4-0, 1-0-0 SEC) after dropping matches to UConn (Sept. 7) and Providence (Sept. 10) last weekend. Notably, it was the defense that made the difference this week. Against the Huskies and Friars, Arkansas gave up seven goals with six coming in the final 10 minutes of a half or overtime. This week against Mississippi State and ORU, Arkansas allowed just one goal and seven shots on target
For Goins, the goal was her team-leading seventh of the season and completes a two-score weekend as she had the game-winner on Friday against Mississippi State, as well. Goins has been one of the strongest parts of Arkansas’ offense this year, playing in all 10 matches and recording at least one point in six of those matches.
As for Hartzler, Sunday’s score marked her second of the year and 10th of her career, as she was able to finish a perfectly placed corner kick from Nayeli Perez in the 57th minute. It was the third goal off a corner this year for the Razorbacks and first for Hartzler since scoring in the 11-0 win over Mississippi Valley State (Sept. 3) earlier this year.
Arkansas’ defense was nearly perfect again on Sunday. Led by redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Harris, ORU only managed four shots in the match, three on target. The lone shot for the Golden Eagles in the first half was the tying goal in the 45th minute.
Harris picks up her third win of the year in between the pipes and second of the weekend. She came up with two saves to up her season total to 13 for the year.
Arkansas 1, Oral Roberts 0 – 29th Minute
The Razorbacks and Golden Eagles battled through a tough first half that included a lot of midfield play and alternating possessions. Arkansas was getting shots on target, but was having trouble breaking through. Finally, the Razorbacks got the break it needed on a cross from the right side. ORU tried to clear the ball, but accidentally put it into its own net. Senior Katie Kienstra was around the goal line at the time and helped cause the confusion that led to the score.
Arkansas 1, Oral Roberts 1 – 45th Minute
ORU did tie up the game in the final minute of the first half as Jordan Langebartels scored on a good individual effort from inside the penalty box. However, it was the only shot the Golden Eagles managed through the first 45 minutes.
Arkansas 2, Oral Roberts 1 – 54th Minute
The Razorbacks scored the go-ahead goal nine minutes in the second half off the foot of Goins. Sophomore Stefani Doyle was credited with the assist after a great effort to get behind the ORU back line and feed the pass back to Goins, who finished from eight yards out.
With the helper, Doyle now has five assists this season, which leads the team and is a personal season-high. That total continues to rank in the top 10 in the SEC and top 35 in the country.
Arkansas 3, Oral Roberts 1 – 57th Minute
Arkansas got the much-needed insurance goal three minutes later from Hartzler on a beautiful corner kick from the left by Perez. After pinballing around in the box, the ball landed at the feet of Hartzler, who finished easily past the keeper from four yards away.
Perez has quietly racked up five assists this season, which ties with Doyle for the team lead. Three of her assists have come in the last five matches, including in Friday’s 1-0 victory over Mississippi State.
Arkansas will go up against SEC foes for the remainder of the regular season starting with a visit to Nashville, Tennessee to take on Vanderbilt on Thursday at 7 p.m. on SEC Network+. The Razorbacks will return home to take on Ole Miss on Sunday at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network.
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