FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team opens its regular season on Friday night when it travels to Springfield, Mo., to take on the Missouri State Bears in a 7:00 p.m. contest.
Arkansas enters the match fresh off its 3-0 victory over Oral Roberts University where freshman Kat Moffett scored one goal and assisted on Christina Burger’s score. Most surprising about the Lady Razorback’s exhibition win was the way in which Arkansas dominated the contest despite the fact that it came at the end of two-a-day practices. Arkansas showed a fitness level in the ORU game that it has never seen before in Fayetteville and look to carry that into the regular season.
“This team is ready to compete,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We had a very good preseason and picked up a quality win against Oral Roberts. After that game I felt as though we had some things to work out and we have addressed those in practice over the past week. We should be flying when we step on the field Friday night.”
Arkansas has had tremendous success against Missouri State over the years compiling a 6-1-0 record all-time against its cross border rival. Winning the first three matches of the series, Arkansas’ lone loss came in Springfield during the 1999 regular season, a 2-1 overtime affair. Since that match, the Lady Razorbacks have won the last three meetings. Interestingly, Arkansas’ lone loss came in Springfield after the Lady Razorbacks had won three straight matches, a scenario which poses itself on Friday night.
To break the cycle, the Lady Razorbacks are counting on senior second-team all-SEC player Christina Burger to score goals from her forward position. Arkansas’ leading returning scorer with nine goals a year ago, Burger should have plenty of help up front from Arkansas’ freshmen class who showed a knack for the back of the net in the Lady Razorback’s exhibition contest. The Lady Razorback defenders will also have to be at their best like they were a week ago. Against Oral Roberts, Arkansas did not allow a shot on goal until the 83rd minute of the game and will need a similar performance on Friday. Hurting the Lady Razorbacks in that regard is the loss of senior defender Devon Burger who must sit out the contest due to a red card in the final game of the 2005 schedule.
For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.