FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — First it was No. 2 Duke, and now add No. 4 Florida to the victory list.
After a nearly two-hour weather delay, the Razorbacks defeated the reigning Southeastern Conference champion Gators 2-1 for the first time in program history to stay undefeated in the SEC and to vault to 8-1-0 on the season.
“In the first half, I thought we were tremendous. The score could’ve easily favored us more,” head coach Colby Hale said. “We knew Florida was going to come out and put us under some pressure in the second half because that’s what great teams do. We talked about weathering the storms and created a couple of nice chances on the counter. It was a fantastic team effort and a big win. We’ll enjoy this tonight and get ready for a very good Lipscomb team on Sunday.”
The match was defined by strong team energy in the first half that led to two back-to-back goals from junior Jessi Hartzler in the 22nd and 24th minutes of play and a stout defense in the second half that limited the Gators’ third-ranked scoring offense to only one goal.
Three-time All-American and two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year senior forward Savannah Jordan was held scoreless in the match as the Gators fell to 5-2-0 and 1-1-0 in conference play.
Senior goalkeeper Cameron Carter would earn a season-high eight saves in 90 minutes of play to improve to 8-1 and seniors Alexandra Fischer and Claire Kelley would each record one assist.
Florida held a 20-13 advantage in shots — with 15 coming in the second half — and a 7-3 edge in corners.
FINAL | Arkansas 2, Florida 1 pic.twitter.com/gJyFcGy8V3— Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackSoccer) September 17, 2016
In a season marked by several historic “firsts,” Razorback Soccer has now accomplished defeating two top five programs at home, its head coach becoming the winningest coach in program history, breaking its home attendance record for three years in a row and having its best start during Hale’s five-year tenure at Arkansas.
The Razorbacks will have a quick turnaround on Sunday by facing off against Lipscomb (6-2-1) for the first time in program history. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. CST and the game will be streamed live on SEC Network+ via the WatchESPN app.
The Bison are 2-1 this season against SEC opponents, defeating Vanderbilt 2-0 on Aug. 21 and Mississippi State 1-0 on Aug. 26 while falling to Ole Miss 3-1 on Aug. 28.
Lipscomb was picked to finish second in the Atlantic Sun Conference during the preseason but is currently in first place in league standings.