FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas only led James Madison by one goal through the majority of the match Friday night, until senior Katie Kienstra found the back of the net in the 74th minute to help the Razorbacks put away the Dukes, 2-0, at Razorback Field.
Kienstra had yet to find the scoresheet this season before tonight’s game, but made her 25 minutes of play count when she delivered home a strike from eight yards. Freshman Brooke Pirkle was credited with the assist after corralling a loose ball near the end line and sending it back to the middle of the box when Kienstra delivered it home.
Colby Hale Quotables
“I think we’re progressing nicely,” Arkansas coach Colby Hale. “Each game we get a little bit better and I thought that was our best game. There’s still a lot to work on. I thought some of the kids that came off the bench were the best they’ve been in a while and I thought that was the difference. We challenged some of the players coming off the bench to make an impact, until now, that was a challenge. They stepped up and got us the big second half goal.”
Arkansas seemed to have played its most complete game of the season as it put 14 shots up with six being on target. Freshman Taylor Malham led all Razorbacks with four shots, one being Arkansas’ first goal in the 27th minute, her third of the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Rachel Harris made her fourth start of the year and picked up her first shutout of her collegiate career, making four saves through 90 minutes. She withstood 11 shots from the Dukes. It’s Harris’ third-straight start in the net as the Arkansas keeper.
Arkansas 1, James Madison 0 – 27th minute
Arkansas got on top of James Madison early on as Malham netted her third score of the year. In what was a beautifully constructed run by Stefani Doyle down the right side, the sophomore sent a cross into the middle of the box, right in front of the keeper. Kayla McKeon was able to tap it toward the left post when Malham bodied it into the net.
Malham now has three goals this year, trailing fellow freshman Parker Goins by one for the team lead. It’s also Malham’s third goal in the last four matches, giving her six points for the season.
Arkansas 2, James Madison 0 – 74th minute
The Razorbacks and Dukes stayed even on possession for the remainder of the first half and for much of the second half. In the first 20 minutes of the second period, JMU outshot Arkansas 5-2 and looked to be close to finding that equalizer. Harris came up big during that stretch, making three of her four saves on the night.
Kienstra broke Arkansas through with the insurance goal in the 74th minute, her first of the season and second of her career to put her team up 2-0.
Arkansas hopes to extend its winning streak to three games when it closes out the home stand with Mississippi Valley State on Sunday at Razorback Field. First kick is slated for 1 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network+.