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.
4 teams set for second weekend of NCAA Tournament in Fayetteville
Arkansas forward Bella Field (5) celebrates a goal during an NCAA Tournament game against Grambling on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in Fayetteville. (Walt Beazley/Arkansas Athletics)
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will host Pittsburgh in the second round of the NCAA Soccer Tournament on Friday.
The Panthers (15-5-1) defeated Ohio State 6-0 in a first-round game last Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Arkansas (15-4-2) won its tournament opener 5-0 over Grambling last Friday when freshman forward Bella Field scored three goals. The Razorbacks played the match without Anna Podojil, the program's all-time leading scorer who suffered a knee injury at the SEC Tournament.
Podojil's status for remaining games has not been announced.
The Arkansas-Pitt match is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Razorback Field. It will follow a match on the same field between Notre Dame and Memphis that is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
Both matches will be streamed by ESPN+. The winners Friday will play each other Sunday in the tournament round of 16 beginning at 6 p.m. in Fayetteville.
Notre Dame is the No. 3 seed on Arkansas’ side of the bracket, Memphis is No. 6 and Pitt is No. 7. The Razorbacks are the bracket’s No. 2 seed, behind top-seeded Florida State.
Notre Dame defeated Valparaiso 2-0 and Memphis defeated LSU 2-1 in the first round.
Memphis (19-1) and Notre Dame (12-3-4) are each making their second trip to Fayetteville on the tournament’s second weekend. Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight with victories over Notre Dame in 2021 and Memphis in penalty kicks last year.
Memphis (8), Notre Dame (9), Arkansas (10) and Pitt (11) are ranked in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll.
Pitt had six different goal scorers against Ohio State. The Panthers out-shot the Buckeyes 15-11, including 10-3 on goal.
Five Pitt players earned All-ACC honors after finishing 6-3-1 in the prestigious soccer league. Forward Sarah Schupansky, who scored her 11th goal during the NCAA first round, is the program’s first player to earn first-team All-ACC.
The Panthers and the Razorbacks had common opponents during the regular season. Both teams tied Notre Dame and lost to Clemson, but had differing outcomes against North Carolina.
Pitt defeated the Tar Heels 2-1 on Oct. 29 during the conference tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Razorbacks lost 3-1 to North Carolina on the same field Sept. 3.
Arkansas will play an ACC foe at the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time since 2013. The Razorbacks have an all-time record of 2-4-2 against ACC teams in the postseason, including a 1-0 loss at Florida State in the Elite Eight last season and home wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in 2021. Both ties were lost in penalty kicks.
The win over Grambling was Arkansas’ 32nd consecutive unbeaten result at Razorback Field. Arkansas is undefeated at home in 10 NCAA Tournament matches, all played since 2016.
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