FAYETTEVILLE – Coming off its best conference start in 10 years, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team looks to continue its undefeated Southeastern Conference season when it takes on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss., on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.
Friday evening’s match is also the first time the Lady Razorbacks are to be broadcast live on the radio on KXUA, 88.3 FM in Fayetteville and on the internet at www.ladybacks.com.
“There’s a lot made of the start that we’ve had,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “Honestly, that is the last thing on my mind. What I see is that we are playing well now and playing with a lot of confidence. That is what is important to me.”
Arkansas enters the Friday evening match up with a 5-4-1 overall record, but more importantly with a 1-0-1 SEC mark giving it four points and placing it second in the conference’s western division. Mississippi State holds a 4-4-1 overall record and is 1-1-0 in the league placing them in a tie for third.
The Lady Razorback’s win over Vanderbilt last weekend, 2-1, was a tremendous boost to the squad, but its 1-1 double overtime time probably did more for the team’s confidence than anything else as is broke a seven-match losing streak to the Kentucky Wildcats. Historically, Arkansas has been very good against Mississippi State, defeating the Bulldogs in six of eight career meetings but Arkansas’ upperclassmen remember the last time they visited Starkville and walked away on the wrong side of the ledger.
“Any time you play away from home it is a difficult challenge,” Henderson said. “When you are in the SEC that challenge doubles. I have no illusion that this isn’t going to be a tough game. Starkville is a tough place to play.”
Helping Arkansas’ cause in the match is the strength of its defense which has surrendered just two goals in conference play and 14 over 10 games. That strong back line coupled with a talented yet young offense gives Arkansas a one-two punch that is difficult for teams to figure out.
“Our strength is our balance,” Henderson said. “We defend as a team, we attack as a team and the players have picked up the system well. But we are still learning and getting better and better.”
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.