FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas soccer team plays eight NCAA Tournament teams and host the Razorback Invitational as part of its 2008 schedule. The Razorbacks’ 20-match schedule includes nine home matches, five of those against Southeastern Conference opponents.
Arkansas opens its season with a road match Aug. 22 against Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., before returning to Fayetteville for its home-opening weekend. The Razorbacks host Tulsa (Aug. 29) and Oral Roberts (Aug. 31) during their first home stand at Razorback Field. After last season’s 2-0 win, Arkansas has won four straight against the Golden Hurricane.
The Razorbacks travel to Jacksonville, Ala., to compete in the Jacksonville State Tournament against host JSU on Sept. 5 and Samford on Sept. 7. Last season, Arkansas beat Jacksonville State, 5-0, its second-highest offensive output of the year. It will be the first meeting between Arkansas and Samford. The team stays on the road for its next two matches against Austin Peay (Sept. 12) and defending Southland Conference champion of Stephen F. Austin (Sept. 14).
The non-conference schedule concludes with the Razorback Invitational with guests Missouri State, Nicholls State and Western Michigan. On Sept. 19, Arkansas takes on the Broncos from Kalamazoo, Mich., and finish the home event with Nicholls State, the first meeting between the two teams.
Conference play begins on the road at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Arkansas looks to stop an 11-match losing streak to the Rebels. Last season, the teams battled into overtime with Ole Miss prevailing, 2-1. The Razorbacks have won five straight against Mississippi State, their longest current winning steak against any SEC opponent.
After a second weekend on the road at Georgia and Tennessee, Arkansas opens home conference action against Alabama and Auburn. Before last season’s 2-0 loss, Arkansas had won two straight against the Crimson Tide, including a 5-0 victory in Fayetteville during the 2006 season. The Razorbacks haven’t beaten Auburn since 2000, a 3-2 home win.
Arkansas is also looking to snap a streak of futility against Kentucky in a Friday night matchup. The Wildcats haven’t lost to Arkansas since the 1994 season. The teams tied, 1-1, in a double overtime match in 2004 at Razorback Field.
The final full weekend of regular season play finds Arkansas split between a Thursday road match at Florida, the defending SEC regular season and tournament champion, and a Sunday home match against South Carolina.
The Razorbacks close their regular season with a road match at defending Western Division champion LSU. The Tigers have won four straight in the series, and Arkansas’ last win in Baton Rouge, a 2-0 triumph, came in 1996.
The top eight teams in the conference travel to Orange Beach, Ala., to compete in the 2008 SEC Soccer Tournament played Nov. 5-9 at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex.
Incoming freshmen Nikki Crocco and Kailey Anders are competing this week with their club team, Sting Dallas ’90, at the 2008 US Youth Soccer National Championships in the Under-18 division. The tournament is being played at the Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Ark.
Sting Dallas ’90 begins play Wednesday against Eclipse Select ’89-90 (IL). The other two teams competing are FC Delco Fury II (EPA) and Colorado Rush Nike (CO). After three days of round-robin play, the top two teams play for the national championship Sunday at 7:45 a.m.
For more news about Arkansas soccer, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
2008 Arkansas Regular Season Soccer ScheduleAug. 22 Missouri State 7 p.m.Aug. 29 TULSA 7 p.m.Aug. 31 ORAL ROBERTS 1 p.m.Sept. 5 Jacksonville State^ 7:30 p.m.Sept. 7 Samford^ 1 p.m.Sept. 12 Austin Peay 7 p.m.Sept. 14 Stephen F. Austin 7 p.m.Sept. 19 WESTERN MICHIGAN~ 7 p.m.Sept. 21 NICHOLLS STATE~ 1:30 p.m.Sept. 26 Ole Miss* 6 p.m.Sept. 28 Mississippi State* 1 p.m.Oct. 3 Georgia* 7 p.m.Oct. 5 Tennessee* 1 p.m.Oct. 10 ALABAMA* 7 p.m.Oct. 12 AUBURN* 1 p.m.Oct. 17 KENTUCKY* 7 p.m.Oct. 19 VANDERBILT* 1 p.m.Oct. 23 Florida* 7 p.m.Oct. 26 SOUTH CAROLINA* 1 p.m.Oct. 31 LSU* 7 p.m.^ – Jacksonville St. Tournament (Jacksonville, Ala.)~ – Razorback Invitational* – Southeastern Conference match