Mitchell leads A-State to victory

JONESBORO — Behind a two-goal performance from sophomore forward Loren Mitchell, the Arkansas State women’s soccer team defeated Western Kentucky 3-0 at the A-State Soccer Complex Friday afternoon.

The win ensures the Red Wolves (8-6-2, 3-3 SBC) a berth in the Sun Belt Conference tournament for the third consecutive season, and it marked the first win for the A-State women’s soccer program over the Lady Toppers (7-4-4, 5-1) in the program’s history.

Elizabeth Howard began the scoring for A-State with a corner kick as it bounced off the hands Western Kentucky’s goalkeeper.

Western Kentucky took four shots on goal, most of which came in the first half, but A-State goalkeeper Amanda Lee stopped each attempt and earned her seventh victory of the year.

Mitchell now has 10 goals on the season, which is tied for the most in the Sun Belt Conference, and needs just two more to tie the all-time mark for goals in a season at Arkansas State.

Entering Friday’s match the Lady Toppers had not allowed a goal in over 730 minutes and were undefeated in conference play. The win ensures the Red Wolves a spot in the SBC Tournament by virtue of points as the Red Wolves hold the tiebreakers over both Louisiana-Monroe and UALR should there by a tie for the final playoff spot.

A-State will close its home schedule Sunday at 1 p.m. against Georgia State. A ceremony to honor the Red Wolves’ five senior athletes will take place after the conclusion of the match.

Lady Bisons defeats Ouachita Baptist

ARKADELPHIA — The Harding women’s soccer team defeated Ouachita Baptist 1-0 on Friday in Great American Conference action. HU improves to 3-8-1 overall and 2-4-0 in the GAC.

Sophomore midfielder Audrey Adkison hit a shot that was blocked by an OBU defender in the 84th minute as the rebound went to freshman midfielder Averie Albright inside the box. Albright dribbled around the OBU defense and found the back of the net for her second career goal.

The win marks the second straight year Harding has defeated Ouachita Baptist (8-3-1, 3-2-1 GAC) in Arkadelphia. It also marked the second shutout by the Lady Bisons this season as HU shutout Northwestern Oklahoma 3-0 earlier this season.

The Lady Bisons took 16 shots in the game as 11 were on goal. Albright had five shots to lead HU.

HU sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Miller had three saves and earned her second career shutout.

Harding will have the week off before starting a four game home stand Oct. 25 as the host Southwestern Oklahoma at 7 p.m., at the Steven Soccer Field.

Trojans earn first score, Georgia State storms back

LITTLE ROCK – UALR scored first, but visiting Georgia State got the next three in a 3-1 victory over the Trojans soccer team at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex on Friday night.

UALR (4-11, 1-5 Sun Belt Conference) scored less than a quarter of an hour into the game off the foot of freshman Mikayla Uyokpeyi, but the Panthers (5-8-1, 3-3) stormed back to take a 2-1 lead at half time and added the backbreaker just 22 seconds into the second half.

Junior goalie Kylie Wilson had another highlight of the game for UALR when she saved a first-half penalty kick to keep the Trojans in the lead temporarily, and she finished with five total saves. She has made at least five saves in the last four consecutive games.

With two games left to play, the Trojans remain in the eighth seed in the Sun Belt with their tournament destiny still in their own hands. Winless ULM was off Friday night and still has three games to play, but the Trojans hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Warhawks for the eight and final spot in the Sun Belt Tournament.

UALR finishes its home schedule on Sunday when conference-leading Western Kentucky comes to the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.


Knights Top Warriors in Missouri

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The Hendrix College field hockey team lost to NCAA Division II team Bellarmine University 14-1 at Hunter Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The Knights (6-6) outshot the Warriors (0-10) 48-4 and 35-2 on goal.

Rachael McAllister recorded a hat trick and Alex Ojeda had two goals and two assists for BU. Rachael Waltz added two goals and an assist and Meghan Williams had two assists.

Hendrix freshman Emily Rankin scored in the 30th minute on a pass by junior Lotte Kraaijenbrink to make the game 3-1.

Rankin and senior Lindsay Chott each took shots on goal for the Warriors. Freshman Gabryele Pochron, the NCAA Division III leader in saves, recorded 21 stops, the sixth most in school history.

Hendrix will face Denison University, a DIII school, in their final day in St. Charles, Mo. on Saturday.


Merkel Joins Basketball Staff

CONWAY — Former Millsaps College standout Brian Merkel has been hired as an assistant coach to the Hendrix College men’s basketball team.

Merkel will replace Drew Gaeng, who was named the Warriors’ interim head women’s coach after four seasons as the men’s assistant, on fourth-year head coach Thad McCracken’s staff.

In addition to coaching basketball, Merkel will serve as the assistant men’s golf coach.

Merkel was a three-year starter at point guard for Millsaps College appearing in 88 games during his career. He scored a career-high 15 points against Oglethorpe and dished out nine assists against Rhodes. Merkel led the Majors in assists during his final three seasons. Merkel also served as team captain as a junior and senior and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court in 2011 and 2012.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Merkel averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for St. Michael the Archangel High School. He was an all-district selection in 2008 and named to the Louisiana Coaches Association All-State Team that same year. Merkel was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Merkel served as St. Michael’s freshmen and junior varsity head coach while also serving as the varsity assistant during the 2012-13 season. Also, he was an assistant coach with the Red Storm AAU basketball program.

Merkel graduated from Millsaps College in 2012 with a degree in Business Administration and minors in Economics and Communications. He received his MBA in the summer of 2013 from Southeastern Louisiana University.