Malham, Neece and Cannata Push Arkansas Past Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. — The Arkansas soccer team finished off the exhibition portion of its 2018 schedule Thursday night with an outburst of goals to defeat Nebraska, 3-1, at Hibner Stadium.
Taking advantage of the lenient substitution rules for exhibitions, the Razorbacks, once again, utilized nearly its entire roster, as well as all three of its goalkeepers, in what was their final tuneup before opening the regular season next week against Duquesne.
Sophomores Taylor Malham, Abbi Neece and junior Tori Cannata all provided scores in the two-goal victory. Malham scored the lone goal in last week’s 1-0 exhibition win over Kansas State and played 62 minutes in Thursday’s match at Nebraska.
With Thursday night’s victory, Arkansas has now come out a winner in five of its last six exhibition matches.
From Head Coach Colby Hale
“First of all this was a great result by the players. We were a bit off in the first half, but they found a way to stay in the game. The second half, we were suffocating at times. Obviously, there are some areas of growth for us that Nebraska exposed, but we had a lot of really good stretches.” – Head coach Colby Hale
How It Went Down
5th minute – Arkansas utilized a quick pace at the start of the match that seemed to catch Nebraska off guard as Malham netted her second goal of the exhibition season. Coming off a corner kick from fellow sophomore Parker Goins, the ball was jostled around the box and deflected to the foot of Malham, who was able to put it past the Nebraska keeper for the game’s first goal.
13th minute – Nebraska was able to even the match eight minutes later on a goal by Faith Carter, but Arkansas’ defense limited the Cornhuskers to only one shot on goal for the remainder of the first half.
52nd minute – Sophomore Abbi Neece, who had a shot go just wide of goal earlier in the first half, punched one through seven minutes into the second half to make it 2-1 Razorbacks. Freshman Tyler Runnels provided the nice cross on the play found a wide open Neece in the box, who didn’t miss from near point-blank range. Neece had two goals and two assists for six points in her freshman campaign last year.
82nd minute – The Razorbacks got the insurance goal from junior Tori Cannata with eight minutes to go in the match after she placed one just over the goalkeepers head and into the bottom left portion of the net.
Other Key Notes
-For the second-straight exhibition, Arkansas utilized all available goalkeepers in the match as Taylor Beitz, Alexis Bach and Rachel Harris all logged roughly 30 minutes Thursday night between the pipes.
-Bach led all Razorback keepers with two saves on the night and picked up the victory, while Beitz and Harris both tallied one save
-Of the eight shots tallied in the match, Arkansas was able to get two shots off from set pieces, both coming in the first half.
-Seven players recorded 60 or more minutes in the match with midfielders Carly Hoke playing full 90 minutes. Hoke is coming off a season-ending knee injury last year that forced her to miss the entire second half of the season.
-For the second-straight exhibition, Arkansas totaled eight or more shots. Last year, the Razorbacks were 10-9-2 when getting eight or more shots off.
Arkansas will open the 2018 season on the road in State College, Pennsylvania, on the campus of Penn State University. Even with Penn State as the acting host for the opening weekend’s slate of matches, the Razorbacks will not face the Nittany Lions on this trip.
The Hogs will face, however, Duquesne to open the season on Friday, Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. CT and then No. 9 West Virginia on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. Both matches will be played at Jeffrey Field on the campus of Penn State.
For more information on Razorback Soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.