FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team concludes its home season on Friday night by honoring its senior class at Lady’Back Field in a pivotal Southeastern Conference matchup with the University of South Carolina at 7:00 p.m.
Always an emotional time, the Lady Razorbacks will honor their two seniors prior to the Friday night contest with a brief ceremony before playing what has just about turned into a must win contest for the Lady Razorbacks should they want to play in the SEC Championship Tournament.
“We’re looking forward to the game this weekend,” Arkansas head soccer coach Gordon Henderson said. “All season long we have tried to take the pressure off and go in as the underdogs, but now we have put the pressure on so it will be interesting to see how our players react. This is a game that we need to win.”
Arkansas enters the contest with eight points in Southeastern Conference play and probably needs at least two wins over its final three contests to secure a spot in the league tournament. The Gamecocks are in sixth place in the conference’s eastern division and must pick up three wins over their final three games plus get help to qualify for the postseason.
On Arkansas’ side all season has been the size of its home crowds which average more than 600 for the first time in Arkansas’ 18-year soccer history. So far the Lady’Backs have welcomed their fourth, fifth, ninth and 10 largest crowds at Lady’Back Field and hope that Friday’s season finale can eclipse each one.
The Lady Razorbacks were shocked at home last Sunday afternoon when they played the Alabama Crimson Tide and hope to get back on the winning side of the ledger when the Gamecocks come to town. The last meeting between the two squads came during the 2002 season when Arkansas went to Columbia, S.C., and defeated the hometown school 2-1 in overtime.
An Arkansas win on Friday evening coupled with losses by Ole Miss and Mississippi State would place the Lady’Backs right back into the hunt of the conference tournament moving them up to third in the western division. The Lady’Backs likely would have to finish the season no worse than fourth in the west if they wish to entertain thoughts of playing at the conference tournament in Auburn, Ala., Nov. 3-7.