Winning record: The Lady Razorbacks are 4-3-0 on the season. The four wins give them their first winning record through seven games since the 1996 season when they also went 4-3-0.
A Tough Loss: The Lady Razorbacks started their week with a disappointing loss to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles on Tuesday. Despite out shooting their opponents 19-9, Arkansas was a victim of ORU’s first half goal allowing their opponent to bunker throughout the second half and not concede a goal.
Staggering Wins: After getting a couple days to rest their legs, the Lady Razorbacks were outstanding over the weekend as they outscored their opponents 15-0. Arkansas first dispatched Grambling State University 4-0 before handing Southern an 11-0 loss.
Records Against Southern: The Lady Razorbacks set two team and one individual record against Southern University last Sunday afternoon. Their 11-goal effort set the standard for most goals in game and the 11 points was the largest margin of victory by any Lady’Back squad. Individually, sophomore Katie Hamilton tied Arkansas’ all-time record for assists in a game with three.
Hamilton Gets on the Board: After a freshman year that saw her go scoreless, sophomore Katie Hamilton made up for it against Southern University when she tallied one goal and three assists for five points. The effort is the most points scored by a Lady’Back in a single contest since Julie Williford recorded five against George Mason University on Sept. 21, 2003 with two goals and one assist.
First Points and a Record: Katie Hamilton went 22 games before she scored her first points as a Lady Razorback, but the Plano, Texas, native didn’t waste any time once she got on the board. Contributing three assists in Arkansas’ winning effort against Southern, Hamilton tied the UA record for assists in a single game. Her record matches that of five other Lady Razorback single-game efforts with the last being former Lady’Back Nicole Bynum’s trifecta against Wisconsin-Green Bay on Oct. 1, 1999.
The Old Dominion Monarchs: Old Dominion enters the Arkansas match with a 2-3-1 overall record, but are coming off a pair of tough losses to Coastal Carolina and Pittsburgh, both by a single goal. Using an opportunistic offense and a strong defense, the Monarchs are good on both sides of the ball.
Leading the Way: Leading the way for Old Dominion is their junior forward Laura Beeman who has five goals and an assist on the season. The Monarchs main target, Beeman has more than double the number of shots of any Old Dominion player.
When Last They Met: The Lady Razorbacks have a slight advantage in the 1-0-1 record with the last meeting coming in 2003 in Fayetteville. In that contest, Old Dominion picked up a late goal to knot the score at one at force overtime where they earned a tie.
First Meeting: The first meeting between Arkansas and Old Dominion came in 2002 in Norfolk, Va., where a raw Lady Razorback team drew first blood and continued to apply pressure, winning 5-2.
The SEC Standings: Thanks to a pair of wins last weekend, the Lady Razorbacks moved up to fourth on the Southeastern Conference western division standings. At 4-3-0, Arkansas is a game up on Alabama and one-and-a-half on Mississippi State. Auburn leads the west at 5-1-0 followed by LSU and Ole Miss at 4-2-0. In the east, Florida is on top at 4-1-1 with South Carolina also earning four wins. Georgia and Tennessee own identical 2-1-2 marks with Kentucky at 2-4-0 and Vanderbilt 0-4-1.
A Scoring Threat: Like her teammate Katie Hamilton it took freshman Sarah Gwisdala a few games to get into the scoring mode, but last weekend she was on fire netting four goals against Grambling and Southern to move into a tie for first on Arkansas’ 2004 scoring charts. The Plano, Texas, native put up a pair against Grambling including the game winner, then scored the Lady’Backs’ second and third goals against Southern.
A Freshman Starter: Unlike Arkansas’ recent seasons, you won’t find a lot of freshmen in the lineup, that is except for Sarah Gwisdala. Starting game one, Gwisdala came off the bench the next two contests, but ever since the Oklahoma game on Sunday, Sept. 5, she has been a fixture for the Lady Razorbacks. Able to play nearly every position on the field, Gwisdala has seen action at outside defender, outside midfield and forward this season making her a multi-faceted threat.
The Southeastern Conference Lineup: It is a busy week for Southeastern Conference schools as teams prepare for their final free weekend before the SEC schedule begins. On tap are games that feature all 12 SEC schools with some like Arkansas only facing one opponent and others facing a pair.
Arkansas’ Leading Scorer: With all-time leading scorer Julie Williford having completed her soccer eligibility, the Lady Razorbacks are looking for someone to fill the void and if numbers are what you look to, then Christina Burger could be her replacement. Scoring six goals and two assists in 2003, Burger is Arkansas leading returning scorer and what looks good for the Lady Razorbacks is that she was able to notch her scores from all over the field.
Back at the Top: Following what could be termed a disappointing start, Christina Burger is back in the flow and is once again at the top of Arkansas’ points leaders. Thanks to a pair of goals and two assists, Burger now has eight points on the year, just four shy of her freshman total.
One in Game One: Perhaps it is going to be a trend for Christina Burger to score in a season opener. As a freshman she scored Arkansas’ only goal in its opener against Oklahoma and in 2004, she did it again with a long arcing shot at Southeast Missouri. The goal was the seventh of Burger’s career.
Two Goals in 17 Seconds: It has only been done 17 times before, but Christina Burger scored two goals in 17 seconds against Kentucky to at least tie for 18th on the NCAAs fastest goals scored list. Only the 11th individual to score both goals in that time span, Burger netted her pair in nearly identical fashions from the right side. The NCAA record you might ask, five seconds between goals.
Record Crowd: The crowd at Arkansas’ home opener of 639 is the seventh largest in Lady Razorback history and the benchmark for home openers. The previous best for a home opener was 564 set in 1994 against Mercer.
Averaging 523: The Lady Razorbacks opened the 2004 season with great attendance numbers. Averaging 523 through three games, the Lady Razorbacks are well ahead of last season’s numbers where they brought in 386 per contest. Looking at last season’s numbers, the Lady’Back average attendance would rank among the top 50 should the season end today.
Make it Seven: Sophomore goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver must like Arkansas’ new system. Her four victories this season have all come on shutouts giving her seven for her career. The feat moved her up to fourth on Arkansas’ all-time shutouts list behind Molly Myers (17.5), Holly Smith (12) and Kerri Reifel (9).
Personal Scoreless Best: In 2003, Carrie Dillsaver produced back-to-back-to-back shutouts and kept her opponents off the scoreboard for a fabulous 295 minutes and 48 seconds. In 2004 she has already approached the mark twice with a streak of 251:13 and her current scoreless effort of 240:00. Arkansas’ all-time best you might ask, 361:20 between 1991-92.
Returning Starter: If there is one thing for sure, it’s that Carrie Dillsaver will start in goal for the Lady Razorbacks this fall. The only goalkeeper with experience on the roster, Dillsaver was Arkansas’ starter last season and did a fabulous job between the posts as she accumulated a 1.92 goals against average in an Arkansas record 1,549 minutes played by a freshman.
Record Setter: Carrie Dillsaver beat out a senior for the starting goalkeeper’s position in 2003 and after doing so, set the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback record for minutes played in goal by a freshman. Ironically, Dillsaver broke the record that had been set four years earlier by the same senior whom she beat out for the starting position.
Already One of the Best: The University of Arkansas has tradition when it comes to soccer, 18 years of tradition and to say that Carrie Dillsaver is already one of the best to play says something. After one season, she ranks among Arkansas’ all-time best in games played, games started, wins, minutes, shots faced, saves, goals against average and shutouts.
Fourth in the League: Carrie Dillsaver has been excellent between the posts this season and the effort has not been unnoticed. She is currently ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference in goals against average with an outstanding 0.86 GAA. Ashley Lindley of Georgia leads the way with a 0.47 GAA.
Leading the Way: Carrie Dillsaver and the rest of the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team are the league leaders when it comes to saves. With four in seven matches, Arkansas is ahead of Ole Miss who has three.
Statistical Leaders: Thanks to Arkansas’ 32-point effort against Southern University, the Lady Razorbacks now lead the Southeastern Conference in scoring. With 20 goals, Arkansas is slightly ahead of Ole Miss who has 17 and the Lady Razorbacks 56 points are barely better than Florida’s 52.
Widespread Scoring: For the past three seasons Arkansas’ opponents knew to key on Julie Williford, but the 2004 Lady Razorbacks are much more unpredictable. With 20 goals this year, one would think that Arkansas had that one go-to person, but that is certainly not the case. Sarah Gwisdala has four goals, Christina Burger, three, but all told 11 Lady Razorbacks have at least one goal and 15 of the 20 active players have at least one point.
First Goals: With such a variety from the scoring department, several Lady Razorbacks have netted their first goals this season. Freshmen Sarah Gwisdala, Carmen Davis and Ali Harter, sophomores Katie Hamilton, Katie Stauffer and Allison Harris and junior Meredith Thompson can each claim their first collegiate goals. Adding to the menagerie are freshman Becca Davis and sophomore Carrie Dillsaver who notched their first career assists.
First Goal of the Season: The first goal of the 2004 Lady Razorback soccer season was scored by none other than . . . . Allison Harris. A sophomore defender from Snellville, Ga., Harris connected on a direct free kick from 35 yards to tie the game with Southeast Missouri at one midway through the first half. The goal was the first of Harris’ career and her second points after assisting on one score as a freshman.
Falling Off the Pace: The Lady Razorbacks were hoping it would happen and after the Southern match it finally did. Allison Harris is no longer leading the Lady’Backs in scoring. Nothing against the Georgia native, but Arkansas was looking for offense from its forwards and not its defense. Harris is now tied for sixth on Arkansas’ points list in 2004.
Offensive and Defensive: While Allison Harris may be leading the Lady Razorbacks in scoring during the 2004 season, no one is going to confuse her as Arkansas’ main offensive weapon. Harris is too strong as a member of the Lady Razorbacks’ defensive four to get that honor, but any offense she can provide throughout the 2004 season is a bonus for the Lady Razorbacks.
Getting on the Board First: The Lady Razorbacks are starting to develop a trend in the 2004 season and that is to be successful they must get on the scoreboard first. In all four of its wins, Arkansas was the first to score and coincidentally, all four wins were shutouts. In the three losses, the Lady’Backs were forced to play from behind.
Lone Senior: Jenni Brashear is Arkansas’ lone senior on the active roster in 2004. Hailing from Little Rock, Ark., Brashear has been a four-year starter for the Lady Razorbacks and has played multiple positions. The 2004 season has Brashear at her original position, forward, after spending the past two seasons as a stalwart defender.
Coming Through in the Clutch: Jenni Brashear had a flare for the dramatic during her freshman year when she tallied three goals and an assist. The drama that she caused was usually directed toward Arkansas’ opponents and came in the form of a knife to the gut as she scored two game winners and a game-tying goal. Her first career tally came at the expense of Mississippi State, followed by a pair of knocks against LSU, one to force overtime in the final moments of regulation and the other to win the contest in extra time.
You Knew it Would Happen: Well it took three-plus years and her fifth career goal to do it, but Jenni Brashear has finally hit a goal that didn’t mean much, and she did it twice! The Little Rock, Ark., native had a flare for the dramatic in that the first four goals of her career were either game winners or game-tying, but her two scores against Southern only padded Arkansas’ lead breaking her run of significant scores at four.
A Highlight Reel Goal: Jenni Brashear scored her first goal of the 2004 season against Southwest Missouri and was it ever one for the highlight reels. Taking a feed from, coincidentally, her roommate Meredith Thompson, Brashear went into the air and pounded a header into the back of the net off a corner kick. The score was Brashears’ fourth career tally and third game winner, placing her in a nine-way tie for ninth all-time in Lady’Back history.
First Goal: Sophomore Katie Stauffer became the second Lady Razorback to score the first goal of her career in 2004 when she netted the game-tying score against Oklahoma. Playing the ball off a free kick from Allison Harris, Stauffer kept the ball low from about three yards and put the Lady Razorbacks in position to win.
Roster Additions: The Lady Razorbacks have added two to the 2004 roster since the media guide was published in late July. Junior Meredith Thompson and freshman Christina Lachut came to the team at the beginning of school and have been working out with the Lady Razorbacks. Some might remember Thompson from her freshman year of 2001 where she played for the Lady Razorbacks but then left the team due to burnout. Lachut is a freshman and assumes the backup goalkeeping duties.
The SEC Preseason Poll: The Lady Razorbacks were chosen to finish fourth in the western division in the annual Southeastern Conference coaches’ poll which was released on Tuesday, August 24. After tying for third in 2003, Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson felt that the ranking was very fair given the circumstances and hopes to improve on the preseason rankings.
Best Season Since: The Lady Razorback’s 2003 record of 7-10-2 is their best since 1996 when they went 11-7-3. It’s .421 winning percentage was a tad higher than the .404 percentage Arkansas posted in the fall of 2000, but not quite the .595 percentage in ‘96.
Parallels to 1995: The Lady Razorback’s 2003 season draws an alarming similarity to the 1995 season in which Arkansas posted a 5-13-1 record. In that year, the Lady’Backs opened the year hot at 3-2-1, then won only two of their next 13 games including a nine-game losing streak to end the season. In 2003, Arkansas opened the year 3-3-2 but swooned near the end of the season dropping five consecutive games in conference play.
1996 and 2004: While Arkansas’ 1995 season ended on a sour note, the team rebounded in 1996 to have its best season in Arkansas’ 18-year history. Finishing the season 11-7-3 with a .595 winning percentage, Arkansas posted school records for both wins and percentage on its way to the SEC Western Division Title. Could 2004 be similar to the 1996 season? The seasons began similarly in that both teams opened with a 1-1-0 record.
The 1996-2004 Prognosis: The 1996-2004 debate could wage all season, but there is at least one thing for certain, Arkansas’ 2004 team has an equal record after seven games than the 1996 squad. At 4-3-0, the 2004 team has a chance to best their counterparts with a win against Old Dominion since Arkansas lost to Missouri in game eight of the 1996 season, 2-1 in overtime. The telling tale for Arkansas’ 2004 squad is can it match the 1996 run of five wins over the next eight games with a tie.
New Coach: On December 16, 2003, the Lady Razorbacks hired Gordon Henderson as the sixth coach in University of Arkansas women’s soccer history. A native of Scotland, Henderson is the second non-American head coach in the program’s history and has a history of building programs both at North Dakota State and Idaho State. A believer in fitness and quality, Henderson has already had his team running more and working on the little things that make teams go from good to great.
What Henderson Inherits: Asked to turn the fortunes of the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer program, Henderson inherits a team that went 7-10-2 and capped off the season with its best record since 1996. He has a solid core of freshmen and sophomores and must evaluate the 19 returning players when spring workouts begin.
Beating Tulsa: It was a long time coming, but Arkansas’ victory over the University of Tulsa was the first time since 1994 that a Lady Razorback squad has defeated the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa had won seven of the past eight contests against Arkansas with the lone non-victory, a 3-3 tie in 1996.
Team Captain: For the second straight season junior Andrea Sparks has been named captain of the Lady Razorback soccer team. Assisting her in her duties are vice-captains Christina Burger and Megan McCool.