FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Despite closing the season with the toughest stretch of opponents in school history, the 2009 Arkansas soccer team recorded a winning record in consecutive seasons for the first time ever.
The Razorbacks, who were 11-8-0 in 2008, went 8-7-4 in 2009.
“Our season had some peaks and valleys, and that was definitely one of the positives,” head coach Erin Aubry says.
Along the way, Aubry’s club set school records with 10 shutouts, four Southeastern Conference shutouts and a 0.80 goals against average.
The previous record for shutouts was eight, set in 2008, and the previous mark for goals against average was 0.87 in 2007.
The Razorbacks posted a second straight winning season despite closing the year against a school-record four consecutive ranked opponents – No. 21 Ole Miss, at No. 10 South Carolina, No. 12 Florida and No. 16 LSU.
“During that stretch at the end of the season, we didn’t quite reach our potential,” Aubry says. “But the SEC sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament and I’m really excited about the future. We’ve already started preparing for next season.”
Over the course of the year, the Hogs recorded victories over Michigan, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Air Force, and had ties against Alabama and Kentucky.
Arkansas was 4-2-4 on the road for a .600 winning percentage, which is the school’s best since the 1996 team was 6-3 (.667).
Individually, junior keeper Britni Williams became Arkansas’ all-time leader with 22 shutouts and she’s second with 26 victories. Second in the SEC in save percentage (.860), third in saves (98), third in saves per game (5.16) and tied for third in shutouts (nine), she is also fifth on Arkansas’ career list with 258 saves.
Senior defender Kim Schleif, one of just three Razorbacks to start all 19 games along with defenders Kelly O’Connor and Kailey Anders, earned second-team All-SEC honors from league coaches. She played 1,712 minutes, which ranked second on the team only to Anders’ 1,764, and she scored one goal. Her defense was a key in leading the Razorbacks to school records for shutouts (10) and goals against average (0.80).
Forward Allie Chandler was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team. She started 14 games and played in all 19. She led the team with five goals, 12 points, 71 shots and 34 shots on goal. She was fifth in the SEC with 71 shots and 3.74 shots per game. She was also seventh on the team with 1,167 minutes.
Anders, a sophomore, earned SEC Player of the Week honors on Aug. 24 and on Aug. 25 became the first Razorback to earn Soccer America Women’s Team of the Week honors. She scored a goal and keyed the defense in that week’s 2-0 victory at Michigan.
Additionally, Aubry became the first first-year coach in program history to record a winning season. She is the seventh head coach at Arkansas. Two went .500 in their first year – Marcia McDermott in 1990 (7-7-1) and Janet Rayfield in 1993 (10-10-0).
The Razorbacks, who recorded the first consecutive non-losing seasons at Arkansas since 1992 (8-8-1) and 1993 (10-10-0), were third in the SEC in saves (105), third in shutouts (10), fourth in goals allowed (16), fourth in goals against average (0.80) and sixth in shots (309). Junior forward Laurel Pastor was seventh in the conference in shots (56) and ninth in shots per game (2.95).