FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)--After winning just six games last fall, Arkansas soccer is in the midst of a renaissance. The record setting 13-2 start has been fueled by first year players.
"The freshman class has been awesome. They work hard, they come in everyday with great attitudes and are willing to learn everyday," said senior goalkeeper Cameron Carter.
"When we first got here, we connected really well as a group, and then we got very close. Coming in on a team like this is just very easy to adapt to," freshman Stefani Doyle said.
Two of the Razorbacks top three scorers are freshmen: Doyle and Kayla McKeon, who were teammates on the Dallas Sting in high school. But in soccer, the stat sheet never paints the entire picture.
As fifth year head coach Colby Hale said, "The best players play and someone's not gonna play just because they're older. But I'll tell you this. The real key to our success has been our older players."
"We're all very determined to win, and we have our upperclassmen that are pushing us to go as hard as we can all the time. So honestly I would say it's more of the upperclassmen that are pushing us to do our best," McKeon said.
The head coach points to the Sweet 16 run a few years ago as a factor that boosted recruiting. "Really it's just about, let's bring in some players that have good character and good work ethic, and then let's coach them. We expect things from them and we have core values that we're pretty loyal to in terms of what our expectations are every day," said Hale.
Hale's 2017 class of freshman is ranked as one of the top ten in the country. This 2016 class has already helped knock off two top 5 opponents in Florida and Duke. So it's safe to say that the future is very bright for the Razorbacks.