An Opening Split: Coming into the weekend the Lady Razorbacks hoped that they could take two matches on the road, but settled for an opening weekend split against Missouri State and Southeastern Louisiana. Arkansas played Missouri State to double overtime before losing on a golden goal, but rebounded nicely in a 4-1 win against SLU on Sunday afternoon.
Scoring From Everyone: For the past two seasons it has been Christina Burger that has led the Lady Razorbacks in scoring, but that might not be the case this fall. While it is only two matches into the season, Burger has been held pointless, while eight Lady Razorbacks have at least one assist and five Arkansas players have scored goals.
A Decent August: Arkansas began its season earlier than it ever has this fall with its match against Missouri State on August 25 and come out of the month with a 1-1-0 record, but 2-1-0 if you add in the 3-0 exhibition match win against Oral Roberts.
A Long September: Arkansas’ September schedule begins on the first day of the month and ends on the 29th and during that span the Lady Razorbacks will play nine matches including three Southeastern Conference contests.
Martin Nets a Pair: Freshman Kelsey Martin didn’t allow the fact that she started both of Arkansas’ weekend matches on the sideline. She still did her part and that included a pair of goals against Southeastern Louisiana. Scoring both on Arkansas corner kicks, Martin found herself in the right position at the right time on way to her two-goal match.
First Since: Kelsey Marin’s two-goal effort against Southeastern Louisiana is the first two-goal match by a Lady Razorback since Christina Burger netted a pair against LSU in the final match of the 2005 season.
First Freshman Since: While it wasn’t so long ago that a Lady Razorback scored two goals in one game, it stands to note that Kelsey Martin is the first Arkansas freshman to score two goals in a game since Sarah Gwisdala accomplished the fact against Southern University on Sept. 12, 2004, in an 11-0 Arkansas rout.
First Game Winner: In a series of firsts for Kelsey Martin, it stands to note that her first collegiate goal was also her first game-winning goal. Her score in the beginning of the second half against Southeastern Louisiana turned out to be the deciding goal of the match.
Freshmen Step Up: Kelsey Martin scored two goals and was just one of four Lady Razorback freshmen to score for Arkansas in the opening weekend of play. In fact five of the 10 Arkansas freshmen scored points in the first two matches including Martin, Kat Moffett, Kathleen Paulsen, Kim Schleif and Rachel Smith.
Northeastern State: The Lady Reds opened the 2006 with a pair of losses at the Missouri Southern State Tournament in Joplin, Mo. Opening with a 2-1 loss to the Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis, Northeastern State then fell to SIU-Edwardsville the next day, 3-2. Last season, the Lady Reds went 7-10-1.
First Meeting: Friday night’s match between Arkansas and Northeastern State will be the first ever between the two schools.
Who To Watch: Northeastern State has just three goals on the season, but two have come off the foot of Charlotte Dinssdale. Scoring her first against Missouri St. Louis, she netted an equalizer versus SIU-Edwardsville, but the Lady Reds were unable to keep the momentum going. In goal, the job the job was Patricia Davis’ but five goals in a little over three halves got her pulled and Sara Spencer played 24 minutes of scoreless soccer.
The Southeastern Conference: After the first weekend of play, the University of Arkansas stands in second place in the SEC’s Western Division behind Auburn who opened with a perfect 2-0-0 record. Mississippi is tied with the Lady’Backs at second. In the east, Georgia was the lone team with an unblemished record while Florida worked in a win and a tie.
Standings Will Change: While it is always nice to be at or near the top of the standings at any time, things can change quickly. The SEC ranks teams based on their winning percentage during the non-conference season, but once SEC play begins in late September, the league office goes to a point system, three for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss.
Liberty University: An NCAA tournament team in 2005, Liberty University should be Arkansas’ toughest opponent thus far in the 2006 schedule. Entering the weekend with a 1-1-0 record, the Lady Flames picked up a 3-0 victory at Longwood to open the season before losing at #7 Virginia, 1-0.
Three Scorers: Liberty has tallied three goals over their first two matches and it would be hard for the Lady Razorbacks to key on any individual since there have been three goal scorers. Maggie Woody has the most shots at four and the long game-winning goal for the Lady Flames.
Last Season: The Lady Razorbacks traveled to Lynchburg, Va., last season for their first ever meeting with the Liberty Lady Flames and walked off the pitch a disappointed squad following a 2-1 loss. A scoreless game at the half, Liberty took the lead in the 53rd minute on a direct kick from 25 yards. The Lady Flames would add their second goal just nine minutes later when a shot ricocheted off the crossbar and was driven home by a Lady Flame. The Lady’Backs did make it a one-goal match in the 86th minute when Katie Taylor scored off an indirect kick, but it was too little, too late.
The All-Time Series: Arkansas and Liberty match up for just the second time in the school’s histories in 2006. The first meeting didn’t go well for Arkansas in 2005 as they lost to the Lady Flames 2-1 in Lynchburg, Va.
The Arkansas Broadcasting Schedule: Lady Razorback soccer is scheduled to be all over the world as its internet broadcasts begin for the second straight season. On the agenda are a variety of different broadcasts including audio only, video only and the combined audio-video matches. The first broadcast of the season takes place on Friday night when the Lady’Backs play Northeastern State. Scheduled to be a full audio-video contest, the match is one of four of its kind this season. There are five radio/audio broadcasts scheduled along with five video only matches.
Soccer Media Guides: The Lady Razorback’s soccer media guides have arrived and are scheduled to be sent out this week. An on-line version should also be available by the weekend.
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.
Moving Up: Carrie Dillsaver’s opening weekend may have produced a 1-1-0 record, but it also moved her up one spot on Arkansas’ all-time saves list. Moving ahead of former teammate Lindsay Haywood, Dillsaver now has 259 career saves.
Four Straight: After opening the season on the road, the Lady Razorbacks get to return to the comfort of Lady’Back Field for four consecutive matches. A streak that Arkansas is able to duplicate one more time, the Lady’Backs will play two consecutive weekends in Fayetteville before heading on the road once more.
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.
Shut Out: If you were to ask Arkansas’ coaches who would lead the team in scoring after the first weekend of play, they would have said Christina Burger. However, thanks to overwhelming defenses against Burger, the second-team all-SEC player was shut out on the weekend and is still searching for her first goal of the 2006 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.
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.
Freshmen Playing: So it was an exhibition match and some say that the freshmen wouldn’t see the field much once the regular season began. Not so fast, five freshmen started against Missouri State and four in the Southeastern Louisiana match. In both contests, all eight freshmen who made the road trip saw considerable action.
And the First Goal: The first goal of the 2006 soccer season was scored by freshman Kat Moffett. Originally thought to come off the foot of Allison Harris, it was later determined that Moffett knocked the ball in on a deflection from Harris.
Two Games, Two Starts: Kat Moffett started Arkansas’ exhibition match on the bench and came on 20 minutes in to score one and assist on a second Lady Razorback goal. Her time in the match was so impressive that it led to a start in the season opener against Missouri State and her first collegiate goal. Moffett also started in the Southeastern Louisiana contest.
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.
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 few weeks ago. Most of the Arkansas roster saw action during the team’s exhibition match. Those that missed the game are the ones with injuries that will take time to heal like Megan Fawley (foot), Katie Stauffer (back), Ali Harter (knee), Whitney Allison (back), Sarah Finn (knee) and Jackie Booker (knee).
Assists: Last season the Lady Razorbacks looked to Abbey Willburn to provide most of their assists. In fact, her six assists on the year were four more than anyone else on the team minus Christina Burger. In 2006, it appears that Arkansas’ scoring will come from all over the field and that was backed up slightly by the fact that three Lady Razorbacks each had two assists in the opening weekend. Wilburn was one giving her eight for her career while Rachel Smith and Allison Harris each posted two.
SEC Team Statistics: It stands to note that two games into the 2006 soccer season and the Lady Razorbacks are tied for the league lead in goals scored, are second in assists, points, shots and shot percentage. The Lady Razorbacks are right next to Georgia in each category.
SEC Individual Statistics: Several Lady Razorbacks are listed among the league leaders in points, goals and assists, but we should point out that freshman Kelsey Martin is currently tied for first in goals with two and ranked second in points with four. The Lady Razorback assist gurus, Abbey Wilburn, Allison Harris and Rachel Smith are all tied for first in their category with two a piece.