ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — No. 19 Arkansas defeated No. 11 Auburn 3-1 Friday night at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Alabama, to advance to its first SEC Tournament championship game since 1996 and under head coach Colby Hale’s tenure.
Senior Lindsey Mayo put Arkansas on the board early with her ninth goal of the season during the fifth minute of play. Mayo’s goal was the Razorbacks’ fastest score of the season, surpassing Stefani Doyle’s score during the 10th minute against James Madison in the season opener.
A penalty kick from freshman Kayla McKeon in the 74th minute would break a 1-1 tie in the second half after Auburn’s Casie Ramsier equalized the match 38 seconds after halftime. Senior Katie Moore would seal the win for the Razorbacks after scoring her first goal of the season during the 83rd minute.
“That was a much better performance. It felt like us,” Hale said. “You don’t always get a second chance to get a game back and we made the most of this. I thought our composure on the ball was very good. Auburn is a very good team. On the day, I thought it was a well-deserved win. We will enjoy it tonight and get ready for Florida.”
Arkansas outshot Auburn 7-2 in the first half and 8-6 in the second, to hold a decisive 15-8 advantage. Senior goalkeeper Cameron Carter tallied four saves and earned her 17th win of the year. Arkansas is also 2 for 2 in penalty kicks this season.
With the win, the Razorbacks improved to 17-4-0 overall and 10-3-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Auburn’s run in the SEC Tournament ends with the Tigers dropping to 14-6-0 overall and 9-3-0 in the league.
Arkansas will face the No. 15-ranked Florida Gators in the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. CT.
It will be a rematch of their Sept. 16 contest in Fayetteville, which saw the Razorbacks upset the then-No. 4 Gators 2-1, in the program’s first victory over Florida in 20 years. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
Florida reached the championship game after upsetting No. 2 South Carolina 1-0 Friday afternoon.