Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
SEC coaches say Razorbacks are preseason favorite
Arkansas forward Anna Podojil (16) is defended by Michigan State's Ruby Diodati during a game Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is predicted to win the 2023 SEC soccer championship by league coaches.
The Razorbacks were selected just ahead of second-place Alabama, last year’s SEC champion. Those teams are scheduled to play Sept. 21 in Fayetteville.
Alabama is ranked seventh and Arkansas is ranked eighth in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll.
Arkansas won outright or shared three consecutive SEC championships from 2019-21. The Razorbacks’ team has several holdovers from the last conference championship team, including fifth-year forward Anna Podojil, who is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 45 goals and 29 assists.
Other notable players back at Arkansas are senior midfielders Bea Franklin and Emilee Hauser, senior forwards Ava Tankersley and Kiley Dulaney, and senior defender Ellie Podojil.
Following two exhibitions — a 1-1 draw against Kansas State and a 6-0 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville — last week, Arkansas is scheduled to open the season with a home match against Arkansas State on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Razorbacks are also scheduled to host Oregon on Aug. 24 before beginning a stretch that includes three road games against ranked teams — third-ranked Notre Dame on Aug. 27, second-ranked North Carolina on Sept. 3, and 25th-ranked Clemson on Sept. 7.
2023 SEC Soccer Poll
3. South Carolina
5. Texas A&M
9. Mississippi State
14. Ole Miss
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