Arkansas Faces Second-Ranked Aggies To Kick Off Home SEC Schedule
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback soccer team is back home to start the weekend as it welcomes No. 2 Texas A&M to Razorback Field for a primetime matchup on Thursday. First kick is slated for 6 p.m. and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.
Jenn Hildreth (PxP) and Jill Loyden (Analyst) will have the call live from Razorback Field. It will be Arkansas’ first nationally televised game this season.
Match 10 Info
Opponent: No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies (10-0-0)
Date: Thursday, Sept. 20
First Kick: 6 p.m. CT
Live Stats: ArkansasRazorbacks.com
TV: SEC Network
Arkansas (5-2-2, 0-1-0 SEC) continued its undefeated streak at home last Sunday when it forced a draw with Providence in their last non-conference match, improving to 4-0-1 overall. The Razorbacks are one of six teams in the SEC that are undefeated at home through the first five weeks of the season.
The Razorbacks have continued to press defenses during its run at home, averaging more than 10 shots on goal per game at home, a top-five total in the SEC. Arkansas has also continued to create chances on set pieces. With a league-leading 76 corner kicks heading into Thursday’s match, Arkansas has scored seven times, four off corners.
Junior Kayla McKeon took over the team lead in goals (4) and points (9) last week after scoring on a penalty kick against Georgia. McKeon and sophomore Parker Goins have been matching each other point-for-point through the first five weeks. Goins has recorded a point in four of the last six matches and McKeon has scored a goal in three of the last five matches.
Defensively, Haley VanFossen has been a point of resistance for opposing offenses playing 90 or more minutes in four of the last five games, while helping keep teams to less than 10 shots a game. Goalkeeper Rachel Harris is also back in goal after missing last week’s match against Georgia due to a shoulder injury. Harris is averaging a just under four saves per game, which is sixth best in the SEC.
For the kids
The Razorbacks will be looking to take down one of the top teams in the nation when they face the Aggies and fans will have an opportunity to take home a commemorative SEC opening night match poster. Also, the first 100 kids in attendance will receive a pair of official Razorback Soccer scarf socks. All kids in attendance can also receive bracelets, stickers, and noisemakers to help push the Razorbacks to victory.
For University of Arkansas Students (Be LOUD + Come HUNGRY)
The first 300 students at Thursday’s match will not only receive free pizza, but will also receive a pair of limited edition Razorback Soccer socks. The sock designs are inspired from this year’s scarf and are a great addition to any fan’s collection. Students can also enter to win a Razorback branded Orca cooler, an authentic Razorback Soccer jersey and gift cards. As always, admission for students is free with a student ID.
>> Arkansas continues conference play with its first home SEC match of the year on Thursday against No. 2 Texas A&M. The Aggies will be the highest ranked team Arkansas has faced since taking on No. 1 Penn State (Aug. 25).
>> The Razorbacks go back on the road for Sunday’s match as they go two states east to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas has won or tied four of the last five matches with the Tide dating back to 2012.
>> With its tie against No. 9 West Virginia back in Week 1, the Razrbacks have amassed four wins or ties against top-10 opponents since 2016, the most of any team in the SEC.
>> With a 4-0-1 home record heading into Thursday’s matchup with No. 2 Texas A&M, it’s the third time in the last seven seasons the Razorbacks have started a season with four wins in its first five home games.
>> Arkansas is averaging 2.4 goals at home this year, while holding opponents to an average of one goal per match. In four of its five home games, the Razorbacks have scored two goals or more.
>> Last week, Arkansas was awarded a combined 15 corner kicks, giving it an SEC-leading 76 corner kicks for the season. Twice the Razorbacks have taken 10 or more corners and have scored four times off corner kicks.
>> Sophomore duo Parker Goins and Taylor Malham have combined for 14 points so far this season and are tied for sixth in the SEC in total assists (4). Goins has an assist in four of the last six matches.
>> Thursday’s match with the Aggies will be the first time the two teams have faced off since the 2017 SEC Tournament final, a 2-1 decision that went in favor of the Aggies.
>> After missing two games to a shoulder injury, sophomore goalkeeper returned against Providence on Sunday, making three saves in the 1-1 draw. Harris is averaging just under four saves per game, the sixth-highest average in the conference.
>> Kayla McKeon made Arkansas’ second penalty kick attempt of the year last week against Georgia. The PK came one week after Parker Goins made one against UConn, equaling last year’s total PK attempts.
>> Thursday’s match with Texas A&M will be Arkansas’ sixth against a team ranked in the top five since 2016. Texas A&M will be the third top-two team to take on the Razorbacks in the last three years (No. 1 Penn St. – 8/25/17; No. 2 Duke – 8/26/16).
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