Razorbacks win season opener at Missouri State 1-0

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Freshman Nikki Crocco’s header from eight yards out found the back of the net at the 71:43 mark to lift Arkansas to a 1-0 victory over Missouri State in the 2008 season opener. The Razorbacks limited Missouri State to four shots, while firing off 13 shots of their own in front of 621 fans at the Plaster Sports Complex in Springfield, Mo.

Off a corner kick, senior Megan Fawley put a ball on goal that glanced off Crocco’s head and into the left side of the net. The goal is Crocco’s first of the season, and first of her Razorback career. This is the fourth consecutive year a freshman has scored Arkansas’ first goal of the season.

Arkansas’ previous best chance at a goal came in the 26th minute when Kathleen Paulsen knocked a shot off the right post. Less than two minutes later, Paulsen fired another shot from 20 yards out that missed just high and out of the reach of Missouri State goalkeeper Jackie Jasper.

The two teams were in a scoreless tie heading into halftime. Arkansas played the aggressor in first half and tallied six shots, three of which were on goal. Britni Williams made no saves as the Razorbacks held Missouri State without a shot during the first 45 minutes of play.

Forward Beth McVean got off the first offensive attack, an eight-yard shot saved by Jasper, less than three minutes into the game. Williams finished the game with three saves to record the seventh shutout of her career and is now 2-0 against the Bears.

The Razorbacks also avenge a loss at Missouri State in the 2006 season opener.

The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville for their home opener Aug. 29 against Tulsa. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start time. Arkansas will host Oral Roberts on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. to close its weekend schedule. For more news about UA soccer, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.