ASU Soccer hosts final nonconference games this weekend

KICKING IT OFF: Arkansas State will host Oral Roberts and Southeast Missouri State for their final weekend of nonconference action before taking on the Sun Belt Conference beginning Sept. 24. ASU hosts Oral Roberts on Friday at 4 p.m. and hosts SEMO at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

THE SERIES: Arkansas State will be looking for its first wins over Oral Roberts and SEMO when they take the field against the two squads this weekend. ASU owns a 0-3 record against ORU and a 0-4 record against SEMO in the two squads all-time series.

THE OPPONENT: Oral Roberts stands at 3-3 on the season with wins over UALR (2-0), Northwestern State (3-1) and Lamar (3-1). Oral Roberts and ASU have shared one opponent this season in Tulsa. The Red Wolves beat Tulsa 1-0, while ORU lost to Tulsa 0-4. The Golden Eagles are led by three players with two goals each - Whitney Brannan, Lorena Soto and Mary-Kate Halsmer. Amanda Wheeler has played all but one half in goal for ORU making 31 saves and having one shut out. She has allowed nine goals for a 1.64 goals against average. Ryan Bush is in his third season at the helm of the Golden Eagle program with a 17-21-1 record. Southeast Missouri also stands at 3-3 this season owning wins past Belmont (2-1), AAMW (9-1) and Washington University (Mo., 1-0). SEMO is led by Ashley Runion and Stephanie Palmer who each have four goals for the Redhawks. Ashton Aubuchon has a 3-2-0 record in goal for SEMO and has made 19 saves while allowing nine goals for a goals against average of 1.80. Heather Nelson is in her 12th year at the helm of the SEMO program owning a 113-66-24 record at the school.

LAST GAME:  The Arkansas State women's soccer team scored an early goal and held off the visiting Golden Hurricane of Tulsa (5-2) to win, 1-0, last Friday

Michele Clark scored her fourth goal of the season on a feed from Jill Fuerman and Miranda Wiley in the 17th minute (16:36). This marked the third-straight game that Clark has recorded a goal.

ASU outshot the Golden Hurricane 14-11 and took four shots on goal to Tulsa's six.

Junior forward Kara Nitti led the Red Wolves with three shots, while Clark, Chelsea Fricke and Lyndsey Patterson each had two shots for ASU.

Junior goalkeeper Megan Stoltzfus made a season-high six saves and turned in her first shutout of the season earning the win for the Red Wolves.

Niles and the rest of the Red Wolves defense came up big, defending well and stopping quality runs by the Golden Hurricane, who were caught off sides six times in the match.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT DAY: Friday's game against Oral Roberts has been dubbed International Student Day at the ASU Soccer Complex. All international students are urged to come out to the game and bring the flags of their nation. There will also be an opportunity for the students to meet and greet with the team members and the local soccer community.

HOT START: After six games, ASU is off to its best start in program history with a 4-1-1 record wrapping up nonconference action this weekend. ASU has never won five of its first seven games.

THREE-GAME STREAK: Junior forward Michele Clark has scored goals in each of the last three games and has four total on the season surpassing her season totals from the previous two seasons. Clark leads the squad with four goals this season with two game winners.