FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team opens its 2004 Southeastern Conference schedule in grand fashion on Friday night, September 24, at 6:30 p.m., when it takes on Vanderbilt University at Lady’Back Field under the lights of the stadium and television cameras as Fox Sports Net broadcasts the game live on TV.
Arkansas enters the match coming off a disappointing loss to the Old Dominion Monarchs in Norfolk, Va., last Sunday afternoon, but knows that it is a much better side at home. The Lady Razorbacks are 2-1-0 at Lady’Back Field in 2004 and are notoriously tough on the surface. Also on Arkansas’ side is recent history. The Lady’Backs have defeated the Commodores the past two seasons including a shutout of their opponent in Nashville, Tenn., last year.
Vanderbilt enters the contest with a tough 1-4-1 record, but do have the satisfaction of its first win of the season in its last match, a 4-0 blanking of Drury University last Sunday. The young Vanderbilt squad was rebuilt over the off season with nine freshmen and a sophomore transfer and the lack of experience has shown at times throughout 2004. The Commodores have scored a league low six goals in six games, but are also among the middle of the conference in goals allowed with just 10 scores against them.
Conversely, Arkansas is tied for the SEC lead in goals scored with 21 tallies, but like its opponent plays suffocating defense with just nine goals allowed over eight games, which ties it for third in the conference. Leading the way on the offensive side of things is sophomore midfielder Christina Burger who owns four of Arkansas’ goals and two assists for 10 points. She is the pace horse for an Arkansas attack that comes from all over the field as 11 Lady Razorbacks have scored at least one goal. Combined with sophomore Carrie Dillsaver’s solid 1.12 goals against average and league leading four shutouts, Arkansas should be a very tough side to crack.
The last time Arkansas faced Vanderbilt at home was during the 2002 season and is known as one of the greatest comebacks in Lady Razorback history. Down 3-1 going into the final 15 minutes, Arkansas rallied to score three goals in 10 minutes, then held on for the final two to defeat Vanderbilt 4-3 and pick up its first win against the Commodores in 10 years.