FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ soccer team heads to Florida this weekend for a pair of games in Fort Myers.
The Razorbacks play Miami on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at a neutral site and meet host Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday at noon. The games are part of the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic.
The Arkansas-Miami game is the first game of the tournament. Host FGC meets Kent State in the second game. On Sunday, Miami and KSU play the first game at 10 a.m. before the Razorbacks meet FGC at noon.
"Miami is going to be extremely athletic and well-organized," head coach Erin Aubry says. "They have it together early in the season. Florida Gulf Coast is going to have a roster that is explosive, athletic and talented. We’re excited to play there against two very good teams."
This will be the first meeting for the Razorbacks with both programs, but the second straight season they spend a non-conference weekend in Florida.
Last year, Arkansas played at Florida Atlantic on Sept. 18 and at Florida International on Sept. 20. The Razorbacks tied FAU, 1-1, and topped FIU, 2-0.
Arkansas (1-1) is coming off a 2-1 loss at Stephen F. Austin on Friday. All three goals were scored in the second half, including two by SFA’s Kylie Louw. Kelsey Allison scored her second career goal for the Razorbacks, which tied the game at the 59:58 mark.
"We looked very disorganized," Aubry says. "That’s how it looked and that’s the result we got, so we’re focusing on changing that. We have learned far more from losing that game and performing that way than we would have had we walked away from that game with a win. If that supplies us three weeks down the road with better motivation and better understanding of how our team ticks and works, then I’ll take that any day."
Allie Chandler and Laurel Pastor each had an assist on the goal. Counting the exhibition game to open the season, Chandler has earned points in each game this year. She scored a goal in each of the first two games and had the assist last week. Pastor led last year’s team with five assists.
Aubry’s starting lineup against SFA included Chandler and Ally Atkins at forward; Rachel Carlson, Camille Flores, Beth McVean and Kelsey Allison at midfielder; Laurel Pastor, Kelly O’Connor, Melanie Foncham and Kailey Anders at defender; and Britni Williams at goalkeeper.
Williams is one win away from tying the school record for career victories. She picked up her 27th win in the season-opening 1-0 victory over Florida International. Carrie Dillsaver set the record of 28 from 2003-06. Williams is already the school’s all-time leader with 23 shutouts. She is also fifth with 266 saves.
Following the trip to Florida, Arkansas plays two games in Missouri. The Razorbacks are at Missouri on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. and at Missouri State on Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. Arkansas is home on Sept. 17 to meet St. Mary’s at 7 p.m.