A-State begins with No. 4 ranking
JONESBORO — The Arkansas State women’s bowling team was ranked fourth in the National Tenpin Coaches Association Preseason Poll that was released Friday morning.
The Red Wolves received 597 points and two first-place votes to finish behind third ranked Central Missouri’s 616 points and three first-place votes. Last season’s national runner-up Vanderbilt received 671 points and two first-place votes to rank second in the poll, while defending national champion Nebraska received 744 total points and 19 first-place votes to top the NTCA Preseason Poll.
A-State finished last season ranked fourth after advancing to the NCAA Tournament Semifinals in its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Red Wolves finished with a 91-34 mark and set the school record for wins.
Head coach Justin Kostick returns for his fifth season and has accumulated a record of 319-135 (.703) during his first four years at Arkansas State.
The Red Wolves return five lettermen from last season’s squad including NTCA All-American second team selection Sarah Lokker and NTCA All-American third team selection Ashley Rucker.
A-State will have an exhibition against Vanderbilt Oct. 27 before opening up the regular season in Hackensack, N.J. at the Fairleigh Dickinson Jamboree Nov. 1-3.
Lady Bisons fall at Southwestern Oklahoma
WEATHERFORD, Okla. — The Harding women’s soccer team fell 4-2 to Southwestern Oklahoma in Great American Conference action on Friday afternoon. The Lady Bisons fall to 1-6-1 overall and 0-2-0 in the GAC.
Senior forward Kelsey Visor got things started for Southwestern Oklahoma (5-2-1, 2-0-0 GAC) in the seventh minute to put SWOSU up 1-0.
In the 58th minute, freshman forward McKenna Smith found sophomore midfielder Melissa Minnich for her first goal of the season and her second career goal.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, HU freshman midfielder Averie Albright scored her first career goal for Harding.
The Lady Bisons will be back in action on Sunday as they travel to Alva, Okla., to face Northwestern Oklahoma State at 1 p.m.
HU Men’s drop overtime match
FAYETTE, Iowa — Upper Iowa’s Leandro Pena scored with 27 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Peacocks a 4-3 victory in MIAA action Friday.
The loss drops Harding to a 2-4-1 overall record and a 1-3-0 mark in the MIAA. Upper Iowa is 5-3-1 overall and remained unbeaten in conference play at 2-0-1.
Harding’s 3-1 halftime lead was short-lived. Upper Iowa’s Rhys Williams scored in the 65th minute, and Ryan Pinkerton tied it in the 78th minute.
Five of Harding’s eight games this season have gone to overtime, the most overtime games in a season in program history. The Bisons are 1-2-2 in those games.
The Bisons return to Searcy on Monday to meet Ouachita Baptist in non-conference action. The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Stevens Soccer Complex.
Late score pushes South Alabama past UALR
LITTLE ROCK — The UALR soccer team (3-8-0) fell by a 1-0 final to South Alabama (8-3-2) Friday night at the Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex. The Trojans controlled the action in the early part of the match, leading 7-3 in shots at halftime, but the Jaguars’ Lauren Allison came up with the only goal of the match in the 69th minute off a misplayed corner kick.
Allison’s 10th goal of the season came with just over 20 minutes left in the match, when a corner kick off the foot of Clarissa Hernandez resulted in a scrum in the box. After deflecting off a UALR defender, Allison put the rebound past Trojan goalkeeper for the lone goal of the match.
South Alabama finished the match with a 13-11 edge in shots, including a 10-4 advantage in the second half. UALR came out strong, putting up seven shots in the first half, but was never able to find the back of the net.
Senior Ashley Barksdale, freshman Mikayla Uyokpeyi and junior Alyson Rohane each put up two shots on the night. Both of Barksdale’s shots were put on frame to lead the Trojans in that category.
Cavanagh finished the night with five saves in goal for UALR. Melissa Drish stopped three shots for the Jaguars.
UALR returns to action on Sunday when it hosts Troy at the Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex at 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear white to Sunday’s match as part of UALR’s "White Out" for the event.
HU races Saturday in the Chile Pepper XC Festival
FAYETTEVILLE — Harding’s cross country teams will be competing this weekend in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival at the University of Arkansas cross country course.
This is the 25th year that the race is being held, and approximately 4,800 runners are expected to compete in the 10 races.
The university men’s 8k race begins at 9:45 a.m., and will be immediately followed by the university women’s 5k race at 10:20 a.m. Harding’s men enter the race ranked 10th in the NCAA Division II Central Region.
This will be third event of the season for Harding after both teams finished fourth in the Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo., on Sept. 21.
Suns cracks Top 25
RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns golf team has used its strong start to jump into the top 25 for the first time in program history, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association recently announced. The Golden Suns entered the poll at No. 20.
The Golden Suns have built upon the success of the 2012-13 season in the early play this year, as Tech has finished either first or second in each of the season’s first three tournaments. The early season has seen two different players capture medalist honors for the Golden Suns, as Rebecka Surtevall won medalist honors at the Drury Fall Shootout and Megan Jeffery captured honors at the NSU Golf Classic.
The Golden Suns’ lower team scores this year reflect the improvement the team has made year-over-year. The team’s highest single-round score of 316, shot in the first round of the UIndy Invitational, would rank as the 10th-lowest round from a year ago. The Golden Suns shot 305 or better three times all of last season, and have already equaled that total in the early going of the 2013-14 season. Still, White knows that as the Golden Suns continue to improve, the remainder of the Great American Conference has made great strides as well.
The Golden Suns will return to action on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 7-8, as they travel to the RCB Bank Classic hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma.