UCA Womens Soccer plays tonight at home

CONWAY — Back at home after two road matches, the Central Arkansas women’s soccer team takes the pitch against Oral Roberts on Thursday. Kicking off at 6 p.m., the Bears and Golden Eagles each look to take the advantage in the all-time series, knotted at 4-4 entering Thursday.

The Bears are hoping to carry some of the momentum built in the first half of last match’s first half, when Maria Vanegas and Abbi Armstrong gave the team a 2-1 lead at halftime against Oklahoma State. The duo each scored their first goals of the season, Vanegas by capitalizing on a mistake by the Cowgirl goalkeeper, and Armstong on a razzle-dazzle in-and-out dribble at the top of the box that freed her enough for a clean shot.The duo marked the fourth and fifth Bears to score this season, with Kelly Van Gundy logging multiple goals in the early stages of the year. 

Central Arkansas has victories over ORU in four of the last five, having only dropped the most recent battle. Last season’s 0-1 loss was marked by a first-half goal by the Golden Eagles, who outshot the Bears 22-7. In the previous five contests, however, Central Arkansas has outscored the Golden Eagles 16-5.

Oral Roberts enters the season 1-2-3, having most recently lost a 5-0 decision to North Texas. The goals came fast in the second half for the Mean Green; ORU trailed just 1-0 entering halftime before letting the floodgates open in the second half. 

So far this year, the offense of the Golden Eagles is like the Bears’, multiple goal scorers, but only one scorer of multiple goals. Gabrielle Abbey has two scores in six matches, and seven other players have chipped in a goal at some point in the first six matches. In goal, Alexa Riefer has played five of the six matches, logging a 2.60 goals against average with 27 saves. She holds the lone win on the season, defeating Tulsa 2-1.

Thursday’s match is set for a 6 p.m. start time at the Bill Stephens Track and Soccer Complex. The match will be on ESPN+, with live stats available online. At the match, students can enter a drawing to win a Spikeball set and a Stanley tumbler with a valid student ID.