Alabama soccer looks for another ranked win at Arkansas

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

After securing its first ranked win of the season against LSU last Friday, the Alabama women’s soccer team (7-6) looks for another win in Fayetteville, Arkansas, against the No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks (9-2) on Oct. 7.

Against LSU, midfielder Reyna Reyes scored in the 85th minute to improve Alabama to 2-2 in conference play and 7-2 on its home field.

Now Alabama faces another ranked opponent in No. 7 Arkansas, which has won nine consecutive games.

The Razorbacks opened their season with road losses to No. 6 Duke and No. 3 North Carolina. Since then, they have defeated their last nine opponents by a combined score of 34-4.

Arkansas head coach Colby Hale is in his 10th season with the program and has a record of 111-65-18 since joining the Razorbacks. He won the SEC Coach of the Year award in 2019 and 2020.

The back-to-back regular season conference champions have dangerous players on their roster. The Razorbacks are led by 2020 SEC Forward of the Year Anna Podojil, who has eight goals and five assists in 10 games played this season.

Midfielder Taylor Malham and forward Parker Goins play an important role in the Arkansas attack. Malham has seven goals and four assists, and Goins has six goals and six assists. In goal for the Razorbacks is senior Hannah Warner, who has allowed eight goals in 11 matches.

Arkansas is undefeated this season at Razorback Field, which averages over 1,500 fans in attendance per game.

Arkansas won the lone meeting between the two sides in 2020, defeating the Crimson Tide 2-1 in overtime. Following a hard-fought win over LSU, Alabama head coach Wes Hart said the Razorbacks will be a challenge.

“Arkansas is a different animal,” Hart said. “They’re so incredibly athletic and physical. We need the type of performance we came out with against LSU. You can’t just go into Arkansas and think that you’re gonna pass it around and play a pretty brand of soccer. I think we’ve seen with Arkansas over the years, if we’re able to get into a little bit of a rhythm, that’s how you take them out of the game. We have to match their physicality and get into a rhythm from the start.”

The match between the Crimson Tide and Razorbacks is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

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