FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas soccer team is in the middle of a heated race to qualify for the Southeastern Conference tournament, but will take a moment to honor those that have given their time and energy to the program on Sunday afternoon when it celebrates senior day at Lady’Back Field prior to Arkansas’ match with South Carolina beginning at 1:00 p.m.
The Lady Razorbacks are coming off a heartbreaking 1-0 double overtime loss to the University of Florida on Friday night and endured several flight delays on their way back to Fayetteville for the Sunday clash. Despite the setbacks, the Lady Razorbacks have been in good spirits and are ready to defend their home field.
“This is an important game for us,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We need to put Friday night behind us and focus on Sunday not just for our chances to qualify for the SEC Tournament, but for our seniors. They have been tremendous all season and winning on senior day is always a special event.”
Prior to the game, the Lady Razorbacks will honor their six departing seniors in a short ceremony that will include the coaching staff, parents and players. Each senior will be given a gift that includes a jersey and photos and will be escorted to the field by family members. The class has been an integral part of Arkansas’ best season in a decade and hopes to match Arkansas’ all-time record for wins in a single season with a victory.
South Carolina also enters Sunday’s match after an overtime thriller, but the Gamecocks luck was slightly better as they defeated the LSU Tigers in Columbia, S.C., 2-1. The Gamecocks have enjoyed a brilliant season in which they are tied for second in the SEC’s Eastern Division and are challenging Florida for the league’s top spot. A strong defensive team, South Carolina has conceded just six goals in nine SEC games this fall and own a 5-2-2 conference record and 11-5-2 overall mark.
Arkansas and South Carolina have played an even series over the past several years, but home field has been a hindrance since 2001. The Gamecocks came to Fayetteville that season and defeated Arkansas 2-0, but the Lady Razorbacks returned the favor in 2002, their next meeting, with a 2-1 double overtime victory in Columbia, S.C. After a one-year hiatus, South Carolina soundly defeated Arkansas, 4-0 in Fayetteville in 2004 before Arkansas picked up another 2-1 victory last fall in Columbia.
The 2005 meeting showcased now senior Christina Burger as she scored a pair of goals, the first in the opening half, then a second one late in the contest after the Gamecocks tied the match at one early in the second.
For more information about Lady Razorback Soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.