Razorbacks down No. 5 Aggies to remain unbeaten

By: Matt Jones Matt Jones's Twitter account
Published: Sunday, October 4, 2020
Arkansas players celebrate after Parker Goins (22) scored a goal during a game against Texas A&M on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.
( Gunnar Rathbun, University of Arkansas Razorback Athletics )
Arkansas players celebrate after Parker Goins (22) scored a goal during a game against Texas A&M on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas took down another highly ranked soccer team at home Sunday.

The No. 9 Razorbacks defeated No. 5 Texas A&M 2-1 in the first game ever played at Razorback Field between teams ranked in the top 10 of the United Soccer Coaches poll.

The victory was Arkansas’ fifth at home over a top-5 opponent since 2016, when the Razorbacks defeated then-No. 2 Duke and No. 4 Florida. Arkansas also defeated then-No. 2 Texas A&M in 2018 and top-ranked North Carolina last September.

“The way we’re built is we’re built for those games,” Arkansas coach Colby Hale said. “They love a challenge. Our team is really mature and they have some talent, which is great, but where we really pride ourselves is in our work rate and our mentality and our toughness. When things get tough, I think that’s when we’re at our best.

“Today was a tough day and I thought we were definitely good enough to win that game.”

Arkansas 2, Texas A&M 1

Records: Arkansas 3-0; Texas A&M 1-1

Goals: Parker Goins, Arkansas (11’), Kayla McKeon, Arkansas (53’); Addie McCain, Texas A&M (61’)

Assists: Anna Podojil, Arkansas (11’), Ashton Gordon, Arkansas (53’); Barbara Olivieri, Texas A&M (61’)

Shots: Arkansas 10; Texas A&M 12

Shots on Goal: Arkansas 5; Texas A&M 5

Attendance: 317

Notable: Arkansas extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games against teams from the SEC West. The Razorbacks are unbeaten in their last 10 regular-season SEC matchups.…Arkansas improved to 20-1-2 on its home field since the start of the 2018 season….The Razorbacks are 6-1 in their last seven regular-season games against ranked teams.

Up Next: Arkansas is scheduled to play at No. 15 Alabama next Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Razorbacks (3-0) took a big step toward potentially repeating as the champion of the SEC West. Arkansas and Texas A&M (1-1) were predicted to finish atop the division standings by league coaches in the preseason.

Arkansas was picked to finish ahead of Texas A&M in the SEC race and defeated the Aggies for the third consecutive meeting, but senior forward Parker Goins said the Razorbacks prepared like they were an underdog because they were ranked lower than Texas A&M in the national poll.

“Being the underdog is always fun,” said Goins, who scored her second goal of the season. “We came out ready to work and I think our mentality ultimately won the game for us.”

Goins’ goal came in the 12th minute and Kayla McKeon scored in the 53rd to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead. McKeon’s 23rd career goal moved her into a tie for ninth place on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, while Goins’ 22nd goal moved her into a tie for the 11th.

Sophomore forward Anna Podojil assisted Goins’ goal. Podojil leads the SEC with three assists this season.

Texas A&M scored its only goal in the 61st minute when Addie McCain connected from the top of the 18-yard penalty box. It was McCain’s third goal in two games.

The Aggies missed a penalty kick in the 24th minute that would have tied the game at halftime. All-SEC midfielder Jimena Lopez hit the right goal post as goalkeeper Alexis Bach dove the other direction.

Leading 1-0, the Razorbacks had a goal waved off in the 47th minute when freshman forward Ava Tankersley was ruled offside. Arkansas missed a chance to go ahead 3-0 in the 56th minute when midfielder Taylor Malham mishit an open look just in front of the net.

“They missed a penalty, but we missed a ton of chances,” Hale said. “When everything doesn’t go your way, you still have to find ways to win. I think that’s the sign of a good, healthy program.”

Texas A&M out-shot Arkansas 12-10 and both teams had five shots on goal.

“That will be arguably the best (defense) we play all year,” Hale said. “Those players on their team are really good and I thought we created a bunch of opportunities against them, so that’s really encouraging.”

Bach had three saves for Arkansas before halftime and Taylor Beitz had a save and allowed the goal in the second half. The Razorbacks have played their goalies one half apiece in each of their three games.

Arkansas has outscored its opponents 8-2 this season.


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