The Final Weekend: The Lady Razorbacks are entering what could be the final weekend of the season when they face LSU on Friday night, then Sunday in a make-up match from late September. Arkansas needs to pick up a win and a tie and get some help if it has aspirations of playing beyond the final weekend of the regular season.
The Scenarios: To spell out all the scenarios would take up three pages of this fact sheet, the general gist of every one is beat Kentucky and get a result against LSU. If Arkansas matches Kentucky’s effort on Friday night, then defeats the Wildcats on Sunday, Arkansas can advance to its first SEC Tournament in six years.
Worse Case: It is conceivable, however unlikely, that no matter what Arkansas does, it could be shutout of the SEC Tournament. If Arkansas wins both of its matches this weekend and finishes the season with 17 points and Kentucky beats Vanderbilt, Tennessee loses to Georgia and Mississippi defeats Mississippi State, all four teams would tie for fifth overall in the SEC and Arkansas would be the odd-man out as it would have a 1-2-0 record against the other schools.
Coming Down to the Last Game, Again: The Lady Razorbacks were hoping that their post-season fates would not come down to the final match of the season against LSU for the fifth-straight season. Well, the LSU match isn’t the final game of the season, but it is just as important. Arkansas needs a win or tie against theTigers, then must win against Kentucky to advance to the SEC Tournament.
First Weekend Without a Win: The Lady Razorbacks experienced something that they are not used to last weekend and that was a two-game set without a win. Arkansas had won at least one of its two matches in every weekend this season until it faced Florida and South Carolina where it took a double-overtime loss, then a tie.
Three Straight: Arkansas’ coaches knew that they end of the season would bring a tough stretch of games and looking at the results proves it. The Lady Razorbacks have played three consecutive double overtime matches, the longest stretch in school history.
Extra Time: The Lady Razorbacks are unfortunately getting used to “free” soccer this fall with six matches that have reached overtime. The total equals the most ever by any Arkansas team set twice in 1996 and 1993. Coincidentally, both seasons were the last time Arkansas has posted double-digit wins.
Still Ranked: Despite not picking up a win for the first weekend this season, the Lady Razorbacks held steady in the latest SoccerBuzz central region poll. Tied for 15th in the Oct. 16th poll, Arkansas remained in that spot on Oct. 23rd.
Back-to-Back Rankings: As we mentioned last week, Arkansas’ ranking is its first in school history and this week it posts back-to-back rankings for the first time.
The LSU Tigers: Boasting one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, the LSU Tigers have begun to make a name for themselves this fall. Playing a tough schedule, LSU has earned an 8-8-3 overall record and are 3-4-3 in SEC play. Early in the season, LSU received votes on a pair of national polls, but have since dropped out of those rankings and even the central region rankings.
An Even Series: It has been an even series for Arkansas and LSU over the years with neither team getting a clear cut lead. Arkansas did manage to go up on the Tigers by two matches, but have since lost two to make the all-time mark 5-5-1.
Wild Games: There have been some wild affairs over the years between Arkansas and LSU including a 6-5 overtime game that was halted to lightening in 2001 and last season’s 4-3 LSU win that saw Arkansas score two goals with just 10 -players on the field. Expect another wild one this fall.
Last Year: It was an ugly game from Arkansas’ standpoint as it watched LSU go up 4-1 late in the contest. A rough match with seven cards issued in total, Arkansas’ Devon Burger was issued a red card for a foul and forced to sit with 17 minutes to play. Despite the setback, Christina Burger came roaring back with a pair of goals in the 81st and 88th minute, but the Lady’Backs came up just short on senior day.
The SEC Standings: Following another crazy weekend of SEC play, the SEC standings were jumbled slightly. Florida still leads the east, but their lead shrank as Vanderbilt won a pair of matches to move into second. In the west, Mississippi lost the division lead for the first time this season as Auburn’s late surge gave it a one-point lead. This fall, 10 teams in the SEC have at least 10 points compared to last year where just eight earned double digits.
The Road to Orange Beach: Four teams have earned a spot at the SEC Tournament and six more are vying for the final four spots. Florida, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee are in. Auburn and Georgia are virtually a lock to go and it could come down to Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi for the final two spots depending on what happens.
Kentucky: After struggling to open the season, Kentucky has put together quite the run in SEC play and because of that is looking to solidify its place at the SEC Tournament. A huge Wildcat win against Tennessee along with a tie versus Florida have been the key factors in Kentucky’s run. The Wildcat’s loss to Georgia last Sunday was its first loss in five games.
Getting Stronger: Kentucky opened Southeastern Conference play with a loss to LSU, then another loss to Auburn and at 0-2 were looking as though they could struggle. Since that second loss, they rolled off a pair of wins against Alabama and South Carolina, and then picked up a huge 0-0 tie with Florida. With confidence, the Wildcats then defeated Tennessee before losing to Georgia.
The Original Meeting: Arkansas and Kentucky were originally scheduled to play on Friday night, Sept. 22, but because of a thunder storm, were unable to even take the field. The two teams waited out the storm for two hours before the game was eventually postponed and rescheduled to this Sunday afternoon.
Last Season: In another tough loss by the Lady Razorbacks in Lexington, Ky., Arkansas and Kentucky were tied late before Courtney McCrudden scored with just 24 seconds left on the clock. The Lady’Backs had been down most of the match, but a goal by Megan McCool brought the Arkansas bench back to life.
Another Potential Record: Of all the records that Carrie Dillsaver has earned so far, none may be as impressive as what she is on the verge of accomplishing. If she can get through the rest of the season and maintain her current goals against average, she could set the Lady Razorbacks’ single-season record. Currently at 0.90, the record is 1.00 set by none other than Molly Myers in 1989.
Defensive Player of the Week 2: Thanks to her part in Arkansas’ victory and tie against Alabama and Auburn, senior goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week. The honor is Dillsaver’s second of the year and she becomes just the second Lady Razorback to ever earn a player of the week honor twice in her career joining Arkansas’ all-time leading scorer Julie Williford.
Not So Fast My Friend: While the Lady Razorbacks posted a pair of shutout wins over Alabama and Auburn, goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver was credited with just one moving her career total to 17, 1/2 behind the all-time Lady Razorback record. The reason for this comes from the NCAA Statisticians Rulebook which states that if more than one person plays in goal during a contest then a team shutout is credited rather than any individual and since Jackie Booker played 3:01 of the Alabama game, Dillsaver only gets credit for the Auburn shutout.
The Actual Numbers: A breakdown of Dillsaver’s accomplishments and what could be next on the Arkansas all-time record books:
|Record||Dillsaver Games Played:||71 (Carrie Dillsaver, 2003-pres.)||71|
|Games Started:||71 (Carrie Dillsaver, 2003-pres.)||71|
|Wins:||28 (Carrie Dillsaver, 2003-pres.)||28|
|Minutes:||6,551 (Carrie Dillsaver, 2003-pres.)||6,551|
|Shots Faced:||867 (Carrie Dillsaver, 2003-pres.)||867|
|Saves:||403 (Molly Myers, 1989-92)||342|
|Goals Against Average:||1.33 (Molly Myers, 1989-92)||1.44|
|Shutouts:||17.5 (Molly Myers, 1989-92)||17|
Defensive Player of the Week: For her efforts in Arkansas’ wins over Tulsa and Memphis, senior goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week. On the weekend she posted a pair of shutouts, made 11 saves and eclipsed Arkansas’ all-time records for games started and wins. It is Arkansas’ first ever defensive player of the week honor in the four years of the award.
Number Five: Carrie Dillsaver broke her fifth Arkansas Lady Razorback school record when she faced multiple shots against Georgia. Her 31 shots faced on the weekend placed her at 813 for her career surpassing Molly Myers mark of 798.
The Five Records: With her surpassing of the shots faced record, Carrie Dillsaver now owns five Lady Razorback school records. Those are games played, games started, wins, minutes and shots faced.
Carrie Dillsaver: In 2005, Carrie Dillsaver was considered a senior by her coaches and teammates as she was scheduled to graduate with her nursing degree in May of 2006, despite the fact that she redshirted her true freshman season and was on her third actual season of playing. She indeed received her bachelor’s degree last May, but the call of the soccer pitch was too great for the Claremore, Okla., native and she chose to delay her professional career by six months in order to play her final season of eligibility with the Lady Razorbacks.
Sixth Straight at Home: With Christina Burger’s two-goal effort against the Alabama Crimson Tide, she added to her school record effort for consecutive home matches with a goal, moving it to six games. Unfortunately, Burger’s streak would end there as she was shutout against Auburn, but her effort exceeded the mark of four set by Julie Williford in 2003.
Five Straight: Christina Burger scored goals in five consecutive games between Southeastern Louisiana and Tulsa to set a Lady Razorback record for consecutive matches with a score. The previous record was four straight by Julie Williford in 2000.
Nine Goals: With her two-goal match against Alabama, Christina Burger moved her season total to nine and matched her single-season career best. She has an opportunity to break that mark as she has at least four matches remaining on the schedule.
Moving up the Career Charts: It may be impossible for Christina Burger to catch Julie Williford and break Arkansas’ all-time school records for goals and points, but the Southlake, Texas, native is certainly placing her name high on the books for others to catch. With her nine goals, three assists and 21 points this season, Burger is currently fourth on the goals scored, points and game-winning goals charts. Burger now has career totals of 29 goals, 11 assists, 69 points and seven game winners. To move up on the Lady Razorback charts she would need 35, 12, 81 and 8, respectively.
Second-Team All-SEC: Christina Burger’s 2005 season, in which she was third in the SEC in goals scored, allowed her to be named second-team all-SEC, her first conference honor and just the 10th in Lady Razorback history.
Tournament MVP: Thanks to her efforts in Arkansas’ wins over the weekend, Christina Burger was named the Lady Razorback Classic’s most valuable player and a member of the all-tournament team.
Welcome Aboard: The Lady Razorbacks welcome La Tremenda into the family of Arkansas soccer broadcasting. La Tremenda is the third entity that will be broadcasting Lady Razorback soccer action in 2006 joining KXUA, 88.3 FM in Fayetteville and LADYBACKS.COM.
Career Game: Sophomore Lindsay Patterson had herself a career night in Arkansas’ victory against Georgia as she netted both Lady Razorback goals. The scores were her third and fourth of the season and allowed her to notch the first game-winning goal of her young career.
Another Game Winner: Lindsay Patterson picked up her first career game-winning strike against Georgia, and then notched her second in the Alabama win. Her 10-yard strike to the upper corner of the goal in the sixth minute proved to be all the offense Arkansas needed in its shutout win over the Crimson Tide.
Friday Night Lights: It seems that Lindsay Patterson is a night game kind of gal and you only have to look back at the past four weekends to prove it. Since Arkansas began SEC play, Patterson has three goals on Friday nights compared to just one assist on Sunday afternoons.
Big Target, Big Threat: At 5-9, Lindsay Patterson is a big target for the Lady Razorbacks at forward and following her game against Georgia she is emerging as a big target for Arkansas offense. Her four goals on the season are a career high and her play during practice allowed her to become a constant in the Arkansas starting lineup.
Assist Leader: Abbey Wilburn’s six assists on the year are tops on the 2006 Lady Razorback roster and are among the league leaders as well. She is third in the Southeastern Conference in assists, three behind the leader, Chrissy Strini of Mississippi.
10th: Abbey Wilburn has been an assist machine for the past two seasons. Her six assists this season coupled with her six from last year place her in a tie for 10th on Arkansas’ all-time list. Wilburn could move steadily up the charts with her next seven assists all the way to second.
First Game Winner: Abbey Wilburn’s goal against Louisiana Tech was the first game-winning strike of her career. In fact it was just her second career goal.
10 Wins: We can’t state it enough but Arkansas’ 10 wins are the most by any Lady Razorback team since the 1996 season when the Lady’Backs posted an 11-7-3 overall record. That team also tied Arkansas’ all-time mark for wins in a season.
Four in Conference: While we are at it, we should also mention that Arkansas’ all-time best for wins in a Southeastern Conference season is four which it set two times, the first being in the 1996 season and the most recent in 1999. The Lady’Backs best winning percentage in SEC play is .563, set in 1996.
A Close Call: Without realizing it, Carrie Dillsaver and the Lady Razorback defense nearly broke another school record this season, the one for shutout minutes. Over the course of five matches beginning with Louisiana Tech and ending with Vanderbilt, Arkansas held its opponents off the scoreboard for 357:55, less than four minutes shy of the school record of 361:20 set between Nov. 3, 1991 and Sept. 20, 1992.
Deja Vu: The last time the Lady Razorbacks went through a conference weekend without a loss was during the 2000 season when they defeated Auburn and Alabama, Oct. 13& 15. That weekend, the Lady’Backs won both their matches, 3-2 and 5-2.
Not Since 1999: While it was the 2000 season when Arkansas went through a conference weekend without a loss, it was the 1999 season when the Lady’Backs posted back-to-back shutouts in conference games. That season, the Lady’Backs blanked LSU on a Sunday afternoon, then came back the following Friday night and picked up a 3-0 win against Alabama.
Arkansas’ RPI: The NCAA released its mid-year RPI rankings on Oct. 3 and the Lady Razorbacks sat at 53rd in the nation, its best RPI ranking ever. The Lady’Backs are the seventh ranked team in the Southeastern Conference and are ahead of league foes, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi State.
Scoring First: In 17 matches this season, Arkansas has been the aggressor and to prove it, you only have to look at one stat, first goals. The Lady Razorbacks have scored the first goal in 13 of the 17 matches they have played in this season putting pressure on opposing teams to match Arkansas’ efforts.
Playing From Behind: Thanks to its knack for scoring the game’s first goal the Lady Razorbacks have been ahead for most of their playing time this year. In fact, Arkansas has only played 94:54 of 1611 total minutes down by a score.
Lady Razorback Classic All-Tournament Team: Four Lady Razorbacks were named to the Lady Razorback Classic All-Tournament Team over the weekend. Christina Burger was the MVP of the weekend and was joined by Carrie Dillsaver, Devon Burger and Abbey Wilburn on the squad.