FAYETTEVILLE – With World Cup Soccer excitement still in abundance, the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team finalized its 2006 fall schedule on Tuesday which features 10 home matches including a home tournament in early September, five NCAA Tournament teams from the 2005 season and five Southeastern Conference home matches.
Opening the year with a home exhibition match on Aug. 18, against Oral Roberts University, the Lady’Backs go on the road for their first regular season contest, an Aug. 25 date against Missouri State University in Springfield. The Lady’Backs then travel to Hammond, La., to take on Southeastern Louisiana on Aug. 27.
“We set this schedule knowing that we would have a bunch of new players coming in,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “I look at it as two seasons, with the non-conference and conference schedules. I think that we have a good mix of teams to play during the regular season and it’s always nice to play teams from different regions. It gives us a different look and presents us with new challenges.”
The Lady’Backs begin their regular season home slate on Sept. 1 when Northeastern State steps onto the Lady’Back Field pitch followed by a Sunday afternoon match against Liberty University, a team that shocked the Lady Razorbacks last season in Lynchburg, Va., on way to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Lady Razorback Classic dominates Sept. 8 & 10 with Arkansas playing host to Louisiana Tech, Alabama A&M and Missouri State. Arkansas plays during the prime viewing times with Louisiana Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. and Alabama A&M on Sunday at 1:30. Missouri State gets the Alabama A&M on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech on Sunday at 11 a.m.
A final non-conference weekend on the road at Tulsa and Memphis usher in a brutal 11-match Southeastern Conference schedule that puts the Lady Razorbacks on the road against three of the top five teams in the league. Opening at home against Kentucky and a much improved Vanderbilt team on Sept. 22 and 24, the Lady’Backs should have a great understanding of what’s to come.
“We need a good start to the conference season,” Henderson said. “We open at home and no team in the SEC is an easy win. When I arrived in 2004, that was one of the reasons I came. I feel that we are headed in the right direction.”
Following the brief stint at home, the Lady Razorbacks go on the road for their next four matches, the first weekend being against Mississippi and Mississippi State, Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. The Lady’Backs then travel to Georgia on Oct. 6, followed by a Sunday afternoon game against defending SEC Champion Tennessee.
A pair of home matches against Alabama and perennial western division leader Auburn are scheduled for Oct. 13 and 15 give the Lady Razorbacks a chance to recover in the comfort of their own beds before the Lady’Backs hit the road once more, heading to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Gators, an eastern division championship contender.
Arkansas’ final home match of the season and senior day is slated for Oct. 22, when the Lady’Backs play a much improved South Carolina squad. Scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff, senior ceremonies take place before the match begins, followed by the team’s final appearance at Lady’Back Field in 2006.
The Lady Razorbacks conclude the regular season against Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, La., in a game that has consistently been the gatekeeper to the Southeastern Conference Tournament. That match on Oct. 27, is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. Should the Lady Razorbacks continue to the postseason, the SEC Championships begin on Nov. 2, in Orange Beach, Ala.
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.
|2006 University of Arkansas Lady Razorback Soccer Schedule|
|Aug. 18||Oral Roberts (Exhibition)||7:00 p.m.|
|Aug. 25||@ Missouri State||7:00 p.m.|
|Aug. 27||@ S.E. Louisiana||1:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 1||Northeastern State||7:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 3||Liberty||1:00 p.m.|
Lady Razorback Classic
|Sept. 8||Louisiana Tech||7:00 p.m.|
|Alabama A&M vs. Missouri St.||4:30 p.m.|
|Sept. 10||Alabama A&M||1:30 p.m.|
|Louisiana Tech vs. Missouri St.||11:00 a.m.|
|Sept. 15||@ Tulsa||7:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 17||@ Memphis||1:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 22||Kentucky *||7:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 24||Vanderbilt *||1:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 29||@ Mississippi *||7:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 1||@ Mississippi State *||1:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 6||@ Georgia *||6:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 8||@ Tennessee *||11:30 p.m.|
|Oct. 13||Alabama *||7:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 15||Auburn *||1:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 20||@ Florida *||6:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 22||South Carolina *||1:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 27||@ Louisiana State *||7:00 p.m.|
|Nov. 2-5||SEC Tournament||TBA|