FAYETTEVILLE – Coming off a sensational preseason win, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team laces up their cleats to open the 2005 regular season at the University of Tulsa on Friday night, Aug. 26, at 7:00 p.m.
With a new season come new expectations and goals and the Lady Razorbacks are prepared to meet the ones they set. A summer of hard work by each and every Lady Razorback has the team in peak physical condition and the effort paid dividends in the exhibition opener as Arkansas pushed the tempo of play throughout the contest.
“I think its exciting,” said Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson. “It’s a new season with new expectations. We had a confidence builder against Baylor. We played well and created nice opportunities and I think we came out with a thoroughly deserved win. Tulsa has always been a team that has given us problems and we began to reverse that trend last year.”
Arkansas enters the season opener with a solid defense that held Baylor to just seven shots in the exhibition match. Senior goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver was barely tested as she was asked to stop only one shot thanks to the efforts of Andrea Sparks, Katie Taylor, Allison Harris and Devon Burger. On the offensive side of the ball, junior Christina Burger returns as one of the Lady’Backs leading scorers from a year ago and accompanied with one of the best recruiting classes in Arkansas history, the potential is unlimited.
Over the past 19 years, Arkansas and Tulsa have met 23 times with the Golden Hurricane holding a decided advantage in the series, but the Lady Razorbacks picked up a tough 1-0 victory in 2004 and hope to carry that momentum into the season opener. Now senior Megan McCool scored that contests lone goal just two minutes into the 2004 game which ended a seven match winless streak against Tulsa.
Tulsa also opens its 2005 season on Friday and like the Lady Razorbacks bring a veteran starting lineup to the pitch. While Arkansas’ strength is its defense, Tulsa’s offense leads the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa returns its top five leading scorers from last season who combined to score more than 30 goals.