#37 Arkansas Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Arkansas Razorbacks

Overall Rank: #37
#6 SEC
#37 Arkansas Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Arkansas Team Page


With the bulk of a team returning that reached the Sweet Sixteen, Arkansas has good reason to be excited about the 2014 campaign. The Razorbacks earned an at-large bid to the tournament and beat Oklahoma State and St. John’s in the first and second round. After that they had a date with Duke. It was a thrilling back and forth game which ended up going the full 110 minutes tied at 2-2. One penalty kick miss by Arkansas was enough to end their season.

2013 Record: 15-8-1, 5-6-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Colby Hale

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Ashleigh Ellenwood, Junior, F, 14
Assists: Jeriann Okoro, Senior, F, 8
Shots: Ashleigh Ellenwood, Junior, F, 75
Saves: Cameron Carter, Sophomore, GK, 96

Other Key Returnees: F Yvonne DesJarlais, F Lindsey Mayo, M Tyler Allen, M Evan Palmer, M Rachel Riggs, M Claire Kelley, M Taylor Green, M Kayla Peterson, D Allie Tripp, D Alexandra Fischer, D Margaret Power, D Blake Pruitt, D Hailey Pescatore

Key Losses: None

Experience and talent are everywhere, but Ashleigh Ellenwood will get most of the attention. The junior striker scored 14 goals and added seven assists. On this pace she will completely rewrite the Razorback record book. Jeriann Okoro and Tyler Allen combined for 15 assists and are the likely candidates to set up Ellenwood. But the scoring does not end there. Allie Tripp, Evan Palmer, Yvonne DesJarlais, Rachel Riggs, Alexandra Fischer and Lindsey Mayo all scored at least three goals in 2013. And all are back looking for more. Throw defenders like Margaret Power, Blake Pruitt and Hailey Pescatore into the mix and the defense should be much improved. Perhaps the best news in the long run is that Coach Colby Hale was able to take advantage of last season’s success on the recruiting trail. Minutes will be hard to come by for the freshmen, but they will get every opportunity to earn them.

Arkansas may not have a target on their back in the SEC, but they are not going to sneak up on anybody either. One successful season is great, but the hard part is keeping it going. The numbers were not always promising for Arkansas either. This was still one of the worst defensive teams in the SEC, allowing 1.331 goals per game and ranking 10th in the conference. That needs to improve with experience. It is asking too much from the offense to win games 5-4 all of the time, like Arkansas did against Vanderbilt in 2013.

Final Projection:
The offense deserves credit for keeping games close even when the defense allows way too many goals. Arkansas lost to LSU 5-3 and Texas A&M 4-3 last season, but this offense is not potent enough to win games like that too often. But keeper Cameron Carter had a very good freshman campaign considering how many shots she faced. She ended up allowing 33 goals in 23 games, but saved an impressive 96 shots. Carter is only going to get better and Arkansas should be eyeing their second ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.92 (51st in nation, 6th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.331 (183, 10)
Shutout Percentage: 0.333 (125, 7)
Save Percentage:  0.746 (233, 10)

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#58 Taylor Sancegraw
#100 Abigail Sieperda


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Soccer Previews