FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team celebrated its 20th season on the field this fall and the final weekend of its spring practices caps off the celebration with a pair of matches at Lady’Back Field including the annual alumni game on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson is a firm believer in linking Arkansas’ past and present and because of that instituted not just an alumni game, but weekend that incorporates activities which allow Arkansas past stars to interact with its future.
“I am looking forward to this weekend,” Henderson said. “Since this is the 20th anniversary we have been notified of a large number of our alumni who are returning. It is a way for our athletes to connect with the past and for us to learn what the former athletes are doing now that their careers as Lady Razorbacks are over. Last year we had a great time with the alumni weekend and I hope it is something that we continue for many years to come.”
Following the alumni match, the current Lady Razorbacks get just a days rest before they take on the Arkansas state Olympic Development Team on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., also at Lady’Back Field.
The Lady Razorbacks have been busy throughout the spring ever since workouts began in early March. Playing four games prior to this weekend’s double header, the Lady’Backs have posted a 2-1-1 record despite a limited roster that has even seen one of its field players have to play goalkeeper just so Arkansas could field a team.
“We are doing something different this year,” Henderson said. “In the past we have had our departing seniors come back to play in spring games, but this year we chose not to do that because of our numbers. We had 18 on the roster without them and that gave us enough to field a team and work with individuals on a one-on-one basis. Interestingly, we have had eight players get hurt, but as our numbers have gotten smaller, we’ve gotten back to basics and as a result our technique has been improved greatly and we’ve reduced our unforced errors.”
The Lady’Backs opened the spring season against Oklahoma State in Tulsa, Okla., just three days after spring practices began. In what turned out to be an even, but sloppy, match, the Lady’Backs lost to the Cowgirls 1-0 on a goal with just four minutes left to play. The Lady’Backs may have lost the match, but were able to create several scoring chances, just missing their intended target.
In Arkansas’ second match it took on the same Arkansas ODP squad that it is scheduled to play on Sunday and defeated the tight-knit crew 6-0.
The Lady Razorbacks took on Missouri State in their third outing and saw Christina and Devon Burger each score a goal. Unfortunately for the Lady’Backs they were punished on a pair of defensive mistakes, forcing a 2-2 tie. Just hours later, the Lady’Backs played a second match against Southwest Baptist and defeated them 3-0.
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.