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Razorbacks open 2009 season at Michigan

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks open 2009 season at Michigan

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback soccer team will begin its 2009 campaign with its Aug. 21 season opener at Michigan. The match is set for a 6 p.m. (CT) start from the U-M Soccer Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich. This will mark Arkansas’ first match under the direction of new head coach Erin Aubry. Friday’s contest will be the first meeting between Arkansas and Michigan.The Razorbacks return six starters and 14 letterwinners from the 2008 squad that finished the year with an 11-8 overall record and a 4-7 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas will be led by its four-member senior class of Kat Moffett, Kathleen Paulsen Kim Schleif and Sophie Wentz. The returning group for Arkansas also includes juniors Kelly O’Connor, the team’s second-leading scorer last season, and Britni Williams, the owner of a 1.09 goals against average in her two years as the team’s starting goalkeeper.Offensively, Arkansas returns 65 percent of its goal scoring-22 of 34 goals scored-from last season. The team will look to make up any lost scoring with the additions of transfers Kelsey Allison, Laurel Pastor and Chelsea Tidwell. Last season, Allison was the assist leader at Oklahoma, Pastor was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection at Virginia Commonwealth and Tidwell was a member of the Big South All-Freshman team.The 2009 freshman class for Aubry and the Razorbacks consists of Allie Chandler (Mesquite, Texas); Sami Pesek (Owasso, Okla.); Valerie Powell (Ashburn, Va.); Kate Singleton (Austin, Texas); and Tara Zika (St. Louis, Mo.). Shelby Campbell joins the team as a sophomore to round out the group of newcomers.With three-quarters of last season’s defenders gone, Schleif and sophomore Kailey Anders will transition from their previous roles up top to join Lauren Hallauer on Arkansas’ backline.Michigan’s roster features 13 returning letterwinners from 2008. The Wolverines posted a 4-10-5 record last season with a 1-6-3 mark in Big Ten matches. The team was picked to finish 11th in the conference in the preseason coaches’ poll.The Wolverines are led by junior forward Amanda Bowery who finished the 2008 season with 17 points on seven goals and three assists. Junior Jackie Carron and senior Amy Klippert are the top returners on the backline. In goal for Michigan, redshirt sophomore Kristen Keane carried a 1.69 GAA last season in five appearances with one start.The 2009 opener marks the 24th season of Arkansas soccer. The Razorbacks are 11-11-1 in season openers with wins in three of the past four, including last season’s 1-0 victory against Missouri State. For the seventh time in the past eight seasons, Arkansas will begin its season on the road. This will be the program’s first contest against a Big Ten opponent since the 2003 season. In that matchup, the Razorbacks lost a 4-0 decision to Purdue at the Nike Missouri Tournament.In the SEC preseason poll, Arkansas was picked to finish fifth in the Western Division by the league’s coaches. Live stats for Friday’s season opener will be available at mgoblue.com, or the online home for Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Soccer (W)