University of Arkansas soccer Coach Colby Hale had two words to describe his star midfielder's play in the team's 5-1 victory Friday night.
"On fire," he said.
Junior Kayla McKeon powered the Razorbacks (14-4-4) to five first-half goals over the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, building off a strong performance in the SEC Tournament a week ago and moving the Razorbacks to the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament.
McKeon recorded two assists by finding both Taylor Malham and Tori Cannata for scores early against the Trojans. McKeon also scored a goal of her own.
With the victory, Arkansas advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its past three playoff appearances.
Hale was impressed with how aggressively the Razorbacks attacked on offense, scoring three goals within the match's first 13 minutes.
Freshman Tyler Runnels scored her first goal of the season at the 41-minute mark to give the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead heading into the half. Runnels was one of five true freshmen to receive 30 or more minutes of playing time.
"You could tell there were some nerves there, some missed assignments on set pieces, but we'll use that video to help them grow," Hale said of the freshmen.
Hale said the Razorbacks also will need to work on some defensive set pieces before the next round.
UALR (13-5-4) kept Arkansas from getting its ninth shutout of the season after defender Liesa Siefert scored off a header in the second half, which would be the only goal by either team in the final 45 minutes. Morgan Smocovich set up Siefert for the goal off a cross.
The Trojans struggled to stop Arkansas' early attack before settling down, UALR Coach Mark Foster said.
"You're hoping for us to play our best game and that Arkansas had an off night," Foster said.
"Arkansas is too professional to have an off night."
Stafani Doyle (17) of Arkansas battles with UALR’s Fanney Einarsdotir in the Razorbacks’ 5-1 victory Friday night in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament in Fayetteville.
Sports on 11/10/2018
Print Headline: McKeon supplies 'fire' for UA soccer