FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team has produced yet another notable first on Tuesday, Oct. 17, as it was informed that it earned its first ever regional ranking by SoccerBuzz, an online soccer magazine.
The Lady Razorbacks ranked tied for 15th in the latest SoccerBuzz regional rankings, behind Southeastern Conference foes, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Mississippi. The release of the rankings bursts Arkansas onto the national scene for the first time in the 21-year history of the program. The Lady Razorbacks also achieved the first-ever ranking by any soccer team in the state of Arkansas with Tuesday’s release.
“That is great to hear,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “This is a tribute to the hard work that our young ladies have done during the off-season and throughout the year. I am very proud of this team and what they have accomplished this season, but we still have work to be done.”
The Lady Razorbacks are enjoying their best season since 1996 when they went 11-7-3 and won the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division. The 2006 squad is currently 10-4-1 with four matches to play and have added talented youth to a seasoned squad which has made a huge difference in the outcomes of matches.
Arkansas is the only team to go from unranked into the central regional top 15 and are tied with UTEP who ranked 15th last week. They are just one of four teams in the nation that earned a ranking after not being ranked a week ago.
The regional rankings coincide with the release of the NCAA’s mid-year rating percentage index (RPI) report which touted Arkansas at #53. The Lady Razorbacks were seventh in the SEC, but since the ratings were released on Oct. 6, Arkansas has gone on to defeat Georgia and Alabama and tie Auburn. The NCAA uses the RPI in conjunction with win-loss records, strength of schedule, results against common opponents and results against other teams in the NCAA Tournament to determine the at-large bids to the 64-team NCAA Championships field.
The Lady Razorbacks head to the road to take on the 12th-ranked Florida Gators on Friday evening. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.