STATE COLLEGE, PA (arkansasrazorbacks.com) — Arkansas soccer suffered its first loss of the season to the hands of Penn State, as the No. 6 Nittany Lions outlasted the Razorbacks 4-2 on Sunday evening. Claire Kelley scored her third goal of the season and added an assist on the team’s other goal; both opportunities sprouted from second-half free kicks.
“Penn State is good; they are a top-five team no doubt,” head coach Colby Hale said. “It’s disappointing to not show our best for the full 90 minutes, but we like our group and our response will be good. We had moments but it just wasn’t enough today.”
The Nittany Lions held Arkansas scoreless early on and struck twice, as the home team went into half with a 2-0 lead after goals in the 27th and 33rd minutes.
With 28 minutes remaining in the match and the Razorbacks trailing 3-0, Erika Miller lofted one of her patented long-range free kicks into the box. Kelley jumped higher than the crowd and headed it to the uncontested foot of Lindsey Mayo, who deposited it past Penn State keeper Rose Chandler for her first score of the season and 10th of her career.
After a Penn State goal in the 85th minute, the Razorbacks earned a free kick in the attacking zone with 100 seconds left. Kelley lined up for a 25-yarder and laced it above Chandler and under the crossbar for the team’s second and final goal. She now leads Arkansas with eight points on three goals and two assists through four matches.
Now at 3-1-0, Arkansas has one match in the upcoming week. It will be on Sunday, Sept. 6 in Houston, Texas, against Rice at 7 p.m. The Owls are 2-1-0 on the season and have a match against SMU on Sept. 3 before hosting the Razorbacks in seven days.