FAYETTEVILLE – Junior Christina Burger and senior Andrea Sparks of the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team were honored by the Southeastern Conference on Wednesday at the annual banquet to kick off the SEC Championship Tournament with second-team all-conference and Good Works Team awards, respectively.
Burger took her first all-SEC honor with the second-team bid and becomes the 10th Lady Razorback in Arkansas history to receive an all-SEC award. She is Arkansas’ fifth second-team member and the first to take any all-SEC award since Julie Williford was given first-team honors in 2003.
“I’m very happy for Tina in all that she has achieved this year,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Her incredible work ethic in the off season and in the year and a half that I have been here has been evident and rewarded accordingly. She was second in the SEC in points, shots and goals and first in shots on goal. Six goals in 32 shots is a great shot rate in anyone’s book and six goals on 19 shots on goal is incredible. In fact I was stunned that she is not a first-team member.
“What makes her accomplishments even more astounding is when you consider the level of competition she played against and the fact that everyone knew who our main threat was and she was still at the top of the league in those categories. It’s unfortunate that she was not a member of the first team, but I know that she’ll prove herself next year.”
Burger finished the 2005 regular season with nine goals and four assists for 22 points making her just the ninth person in Arkansas’ 20-year history to record 20 points during a season. Her six goals and one assist for 13 points in SEC play ranked second among conference players, the highest by a Lady Razorback in Arkansas’ 13-years in the league.
Sparks was one of 12 league players that were named to the conference’s Good Works team. Given to one player from each team that gave the most back to the community, Sparks was a regular at Arkansas Athletes Outreach events during her four-year career and participated in the elementary school reading programs, Easter egg hunts in West Fork, Ark., as well as Christmas gift exchanges. The summer of 2005 saw Sparks take a mission trip to Yanaranguila, Honduras, where she assisted in a medical clinic, several sport clinics and with the pouring of concrete floors for houses.
“Andrea Sparks is and has been the epitome of what is right about our program,” Henderson said. “She understands what it means to be a student-athlete and its role, especially in the state of Arkansas and her participation in projects for underprivileged individuals and her desire to help those who are less fortunate make Andrea and those like her prove what is right about the NCAA. It has been truly an honor to have her as a member of our team and those associated with the University of Arkansas should be very proud of her.”
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.