A Good Start: The Lady Razorbacks were off to a fast start last Friday night as they dominated their preseason match with Oral Roberts to the tune of a 3-0 victory. Freshman Kat Moffett scored Arkansas’ first goal, then assisted on Christina Burger’s to lead the charge. Arkansas’ defense also played a strong game allowing just six shots over 90 minutes with the first goal on face coming with just seven minutes to play.
Don’t Get Too Confident: While the Lady Razorbacks relished their opening victory, Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson was quick to point out that it was just an exhibition match and that the regular season is when it really counts. That said, he still enjoyed the moment with the team.
Starting on the Road: The Lady Razorbacks begin their 2006 regular season with a two-game road trip that starts Friday night, Aug. 25, in Springfield, Mo. The opening day game on the road is nothing new to the Lady Razorbacks as its Arkansas’ fifth consecutive season opener on the road and the 15th in 21 Lady Razorback soccer seasons. Arkansas’ opening day road record, a disappointing 5-8-1.
Season Openers: In 20 years of Lady Razorback soccer, Arkansas is 9-10-1 all-time in season openers. Arkansas’ last opening day win came just last season when they blew out the University of Tulsa, 5-1, in Tulsa, Okla.
Opening Winning Streaks: Interestingly, Arkansas has only opened their season with consecutive wins twice in 20 years with the last time coming in 1992. The only other season was Arkansas’ second, 1987. In the 1992 season, Arkansas defeated Texas A&M, 4-0, in Plano, Texas, and then defeated Kentucky, 2-0, at SIU-Edwardsville. The 1992 season stands as Arkansas’ third best start ever as that squad won three of its first five matches and opened the season 3-1-1.
Impressive Career Starters: Each of the eight Lady Razorback freshmen that played in Arkansas’ exhibition match began their careers impressively. Kat Moffett tallied three points, Kylee Mesler picked up an assist, Rachel Smith played all 90 minutes and only one of the eight freshman played less than 40 minutes.
A Pair of August Matches: With the Soccer season growing, the Lady Razorbacks are playing a pair of matches in the month of August for the fourth consecutive season. In fact, their August 25th match against Missouri State is the earliest opener in the Lady Razorback’s 21 seasons of soccer, eclipsing the Aug. 26, match up with Tulsa from 2005.
The New Class: To say that Arkansas’ 2006 freshman class is shaking things up would probably not be much of an overstatement. Five new Lady Razorbacks started in the Oral Roberts exhibition match and eight of the 10 played, two missed the match to injury. Kat Moffett scored and tallied three points while Rachel Smith played all 90 minutes at defender. Freshmen starters from the ORU match included Smith, Kathleen Paulsen, Sophie Wentz, Katie Somadelis and Kim Schleif.
Arkansas vs. Missouri State: Even though the Bears reside just two hours away in Springfield, Mo., the Lady Razorbacks have not played Missouri State nearly as many times as say Tulsa who is equidistant. Since 1986, Arkansas and Missouri State have clashed seven times with the Lady Razorbacks dominating the all-time series 6-1-0.
The Lone Loss: The Lady Razorbacks have only lost to Missouri State one time in seven career meetings and that came in 1999 in Springfield. In an overtime thriller, Arkansas was unable to stop the Bears from scoring in the first 15 minutes of extra time.
Coincidence, We Hope Not: The last time the Lady Razorbacks lost to Missouri State was in 1999, the fourth meeting between the two schools. Arkansas was riding a three-match winning streak in the series into the match and traveled to Springfield to play the Bears. In the game, Missouri State, then Southwest Missouri State, shocked Arkansas in overtime to pick up its first win. Interestingly, Arkansas is again riding a three-match winning streak against the Bears into their season opener which happens to be in Springfield, Mo.
Tough Loss: The Lady Razorbacks are without the services of Devon Burger for the opening match of the season. Burger was issued a red card in the final game of the 2005 season against LSU and must sit out the Missouri State contest as a result. Due to the incident, Arkansas could go with three defenders or move Kate Venable or any number of newcomers into the spot.
S.E. Louisiana: The Lady Razorbacks head to the still Katrina ravaged New Orleans, La., area on Sunday afternoon when they take on Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La. Hammond is less than an hour from New Orleans and was one of the main areas for evacuees following the storm. Despite the carnage last season, Southeastern did come to Fayetteville to play.
Last Season’s Contest: Arkansas walked off the pitch with a 2-0 victory last season, but the win wasn’t nearly as easy as it may have seemed. A scoreless game through the first half, Arkansas took the lead four minutes into the second when Christina Burger scored on a 10-yard shot from the left side. Burger would score again in the 69th minute on an assist from sister Devon and Megan McCool.
Moffett Opens the Season in Style: While it was just an exhibition match and doesn’t mean anything in terms of career statistics or post-season awards, freshman Kat Moffett got the Arkansas faithful excited when she scored one and assisted on a second goal against Oral Roberts last weekend. The three-point effort was something that Arkansas’ coaches hoped for from a player on their team, but certainly did not expect.
Coming Off the Bench: One of the stunning things about Kat Moffett’s three-point effort against ORU is that she did it coming off the bench and playing just 41 minutes. With that kind of production, there is no telling what the McKinney, Texas native might do over 90 minutes.
Two-Time All-American: It stands to note that Kat Moffett was a two-time High School all-American while playing for McKinney High School. She was also one of two players during the 2005-06 season to be named both an academic and athletic all-American by the NSCAA and Adidas.
Carrie Dillsaver: Back for a final go, Carrie Dillsaver gets to do what most players dream of in 2006, enjoy a second senior season. In 2005, 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.
Career Numbers: When you look at the numbers, one would have to say the Carrie Dillsaver is among the best to ever play at the University of Arkansas. She won the starting goalkeeper’s job as a redshirt freshman over an experienced senior and ranks in the top three of nearly every career statistical category that Arkansas keeps. With a solid season in 2006, Dillsaver could end up as Arkansas’ all-time leader in every category and solidify herself as the best in Lady Razorback history.
What She Needs: It won’t take Carrie Dillsaver long to start breaking Arkansas’ all-time records in some categories this season. In fact, assuming that she starts the season between the posts and stays healthy, Dillsaver will tie Arkansas’ leader in games started in the seventh game of the season, a road match at Tulsa. Quite a fitting result for the Claremore, Okla., native, Claremore is a suburb of Tulsa. Seven wins this season would make Dillsaver the leader in that category and the 33rd minute of Arkansas’ match against Louisiana Tech would place her in the lead in terms of minutes played.
Injuries: Following a rash of injuries to start the season, the Lady Razorbacks appear to be in much better health than they were just a week ago. Most of the Arkansas roster saw action during the team’s exhibition match. Those that missed the game are the ones with long-term injuries like Megan Fawley (foot), Katie Stauffer (back), Ali Harter (knee), Whitney Allison (back), Sarah Finn (knee) and Jackie Booker (knee).
Christina Burger: The most recognizable name on the Lady Razorback roster has to be Christina Burger. Arkansas’ most dangerous offensive threat, Burger has made her name thanks to her speed and ability to move around the pitch which keeps opposing coaches on the constant lookout for Arkansas’ threat. She enters the 2006 season ranked 10th on the Lady Razorback’s all-time points and sixth on the goals scored charts and could break into the top five with another solid season.
Second-Team All-SEC: Thanks to her outstanding 2005 season in which she was third in the SEC in goals scored, Christina Burger was named second-team all-SEC, her first conference honor and just the 10th in Lady Razorback history.
Top Returning Scorer: When we eluded to the fact that team game plan for Christina Burger we weren’t joking and the proof is in the numbers. Burger is and has been Arkansas’ leading returning scorer since her sophomore year and despite being the focal point of the Lady Razorback attack has still managed to post seasons of five and nine goals over the past two seasons.
Radio Broadcasts: The Lady Razorback soccer radio broadcast schedule has been set for KXUA, 88.3 FM in Fayetteville. Beginning on Friday, Sept. 29 at the University of Mississippi, the schedule encompasses five matches for sure along with any postseason action Arkansas might participate in. Other games on the schedule include Oct. 1, Mississippi State; Oct. 6, Georgia; Oct. 8, Tennessee; and Oct. 20, Florida.