FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ soccer team continues its longest homestand of the season this weekend when the Razorbacks play host to Vanderbilt on Friday at 7 p.m. and Kentucky on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a pair of Southeastern Conference matches.
Vanderbilt enters the week 4-7-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the SEC while Kentucky is 7-4-1 overall and 1-2-1.
The Razorbacks, who have played just four of 12 matches at home, are coming off losses to Auburn, 3-2, and Alabama, 2-1. Arkansas is 3-7-2 overall and 0-3-1 in the league. The Razorbacks have four shutouts this year and have played four overtime games.
Vanderbilt leads the series with Arkansas 13-8-1, including a 6-5 edge in Fayetteville. Last year, Arkansas claimed a 2-0 victory in Nashville.
"I think Vanderbilt is having a frustrating year," head coach Erin Aubry says. "They are far better than they have been on paper. They are typically very organized in the back on defense and that’s what we expect."
Senior Kelsey Allison had two goals for Arkansas in Friday’s game against Auburn and now leads the team with three for the season. Laurel Pastor had Arkansas’ goal in the Alabama contest. She’s scored twice in 28 shots this season. Last year, she had two goals in 56 attempts with a .339 shots on goal percentage. Her shots on goal percentage this year has improved to 57.1 percent.
"We worked a lot last week on creating opportunities and that was evident last weekend," Aubry says. "The frustration is that finishing is an art form. That creative form as to be there and nurtured."
Goalkeeper Britni Williams enters the weekend leading the SEC with 76 saves and with 6.33 saves per game. She’s also sixth with four shutouts.
Williams had 15 saves last weekend and now has 334 for her career. She’s fourth on Arkansas’ all-time chart, just five away from matching Carrie Dillsaver (2003-06) for third on the list. Williams is already Arkansas’ all-time leader with 25 shutouts and is tied with Dillsaver with 28 victories.
Last time out, against Alabama, Aubry went with a starting lineup of Pastor and Allie Chandler at forward; Rachel Carlson, Camille Flores, Taylor Green and Allison at midfielder; Melanie Foncham, Beth McVean, Kailey Anders and Jenn Fryrear at defender; and Williams in goal.
"I think we gained a lot of confidence, though, knowing we can be down two goals, make some adjustments and get after a team for 45 minutes and really make them pay," Aubry says of the Alabama game. "I’m really proud of the team’s performance for the weekend."Promotions for the Vanderbilt game include NWA Elementary Night, which means students and three guests who redeem a voucher sent to area schools are admitted for $1 each. NWA Elementary Night is in recognition of national Children’s Day, which was established on Oct. 6, 2000, by President Bill Clinton. In addition, the first fans entering the stadium receive a free Razorback soccer water bottle.
For Sunday’s game against Kentucky, the first fans into the stadium receive a free set of face stickers. There will also be a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to Hog Heaven.