FAYETTEVILLE – Along with officially securing the SEC regular season title outright, No. 10 Arkansas’ 1-0 victory over No. 21 Mississippi State on Thursday clinched the western division crown for the Razorbacks and earned them the No. 1 seed at the SEC Tournament.
Graduate midfielder Bea Franklin scored with less than five minutes to play for the win in what was a defensive battle between the two squads. Franklin netted her team-high seventh goal of the season, which is also the most in any season in her career.
Senior Emilee Hauser tracked down a clearance by the Bulldogs and returned the ball back into the box with an uncontested kick from midfield. Franklin then scored another header, the ninth of her 14 career goals. Hauser earned her sixth assist on the season, one behind Franklin, who also leads the team in assists.
The Hogs knocked on the door multiple times in the second half, most notably when senior Ava Tankersley just missed a wide-open shot across the ground in the 81st minute.
Arkansas and the Bulldogs went into halftime after a balanced first 45 minutes, but the Razorbacks finished the match with a 17-8 edge in shots.
Freshman goalkeeper Phoebe Carver notched her ninth straight start and recorded five saves, including a shot from Bulldogs midfielder Macy Hodge that deflected straight down off the crossbar. Carver racked up her fourth solo shutout in SEC play.
The Hogs extended their home unbeaten streak to 31 matches and finished the regular season with nine wins at Razorback Field.
The program recognized seven seniors – Kiley Dulaney, Emilee Hauser, Ainsley Jeffrey, Ellie Podojil, Ava Tankersley and Morgan White – after the conclusion of their final regular season match.
Arkansas will head to Pensacola, Fla. next week to begin postseason play at the SEC Tournament. The Hogs will face the winner of Auburn versus Tennessee on Tuesday, October 31 at 5 p.m. CT. The match will air on SEC Network.