Late goal tops MSU

FAYETTEVILLE – Junior forward Ally Atkins beat a defender and scored in a one-on-goalie situation in the final minutes to give Arkansas a 1-0 Southeastern Conference soccer victory over Mississippi State at Razorback Field on Friday.

Arkansas is 2-0-2 in its last four games and is now 8-3-4 overall, including 2-3-2 in the SEC. MSU is now 8-5-2 overall and 0-5-2 in the conference.

Junior forward Laurel Pastor kicked to ball deep into the MSU end. Atkins ran it down in the left center of the field and beat a defender to get the one-on-goalie situation. The keeper came out to play the shot and Atkins hit a soft shot with her left foot into the left corner of the net with 2:02 remaining for the victory. It was her only shot attempt of the game.

“Every opportunity we had on goal was great,” head coach Erin Aubry said. “We are getting closer. We are continuing to make progress.”

The Razorbacks had a 25-17 advantage in shots, an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal and a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Atkins scored her third goal of the season on just 10 shots.

“It was huge,” junior Kelly O’Connor said. “We worked so hard. All of the forwards got so many shots on goal. It was great that it all came together in the end.”

Forwards Pastor, Atkins and Allie Chandler combined for 19 of Arkansas’ 25 attempts.

UA keeper Britni Williams recorded seven saves, extended her school record for shutouts to 22 and moved closer to the school record for victories (28) with her 26th.

The shutout for Arkansas is its fourth straight. The Razorbacks set a school record with their fourth SEC shutout of the season and extended their record for shutouts in a season to 10.

In the first half, Arkansas had a huge advantage in shots and corner kicks. The Razorbacks had 13 shots to six for the Bulldogs and a 4-1 advantage in corners.

The Razorbacks are back home on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match against No. 21 Ole Miss.

“The Ole Miss game is going to be very intense,” Aubry said.

Following the Ole Miss contest, Arkansas goes to No. 5 South Carolina on Thursday.

Alabama beat Kentucky on Friday and has seven points in the SEC standings, but Arkansas’ win gives the Razorbacks eight points and keeps them in no worse than the eighth overall position. The top eight teams advance to the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala.

Download: ark, msu game.pdf