FAYETTEVILLE – Coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history, Arkansas’ soccer team begins the 2010 season with its first practice on Friday.
Head coach Erin Aubry guided the Razorbacks to an 8-7-4 mark in 2009, becoming the first first-year head coach in school history to post a winning record. The 2008 club was 11-8-0, giving Arkansas consecutive winning seasons for the first time.
Aubry returns 14 letterwinners and eight starters from last year, including SEC All-Freshman selection Allie Chandler at forward, Arkansas’ all-time leader with 22 shutouts Britni Williams at goalkeeper, and SEC and Soccer America Player of the Week Kailey Anders at defender. Other returning starters are forward Laurel Pastor, midfielders Kelsey Allison and Beth McVean, and defenders Lauren Hallauer and Kelly O’Connor.
"We are very excited to start official training Friday morning," Aubry says. "It has been a long nine months of preparation and anticipation since our Fall 2009 season, but we are ready. The returners have set a new standard of commitment to train over the summer months and I’m looking forward to seeing all our newcomers following their lead. We have many challenges ahead this season and it all begins with the first day of practice."
Last year, the Razorbacks set school records with 10 shutouts, four Southeastern Conference shutouts and a 0.80 goals against average.
Arkansas travels to Saint Louis for an exhibition game on Aug. 14 and opens the season at home on Aug. 22 with a 1 p.m. contest against Florida International.
Season tickets are on sale at the UA Ticket Office and ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Renewals are $30 per ticket while first-time season-ticket purchasers are eligible for a $19 season ticket promotion, which also includes a coupon for a pizza from Pizza Hut.
The remainder of Arkansas’ home schedule includes Sept. 17 against St. Mary’s, Oct. 1 against Auburn, Oct. 3 against Alabama, Oct. 8 against Vanderbilt, Oct. 10 against Kentucky and Oct. 21 against South Carolina.
Promotions for the 2010 season include a team schedule poster and schedule card giveaway at the Florida International game.