Lady'Backs open season with Tulsa

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team opens its 2007 campaign on Friday night when it hosts the University of Tulsa at Lady’Back Field beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Arkansas is a young team this fall, but expectations are still high as the squad rides the crest of a season that was one of its best in a decade.

“I am always excited for the start of the season,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “It’s been an interesting preseason with the calendar quirk, but we are as ready as we are going to be at this point. We need to get another opponent on the field besides ourselves and I think that we’ll learn a lot about this team over the first couple of weeks.”

Arkansas’ season opener pits it against Tulsa who is coming off a sub-par season in which it went 7-11-1 overall. The Golden Hurricane do return nine of its 11 starters from a year ago and also have their sights set high for the 2007 season.

“Tulsa will be a tough game for us,” Henderson said. “Historically Tulsa has given us problems but we’ve had the best of them over the last three years. I don’t think that you could have asked for a better game to open the season and test our players.”

The Lady Razorbacks are looking to rely on the strength of an experienced defensive unit to get it through the beginning part of their 2007 schedule. Each of Arkansas’ starting defenders has at least one year of collegiate experience as a starter and two of the unit are seniors with three. Arkansas’ back line is instrumental to the season as the Lady’Backs have a youngster in goal and at the forward positions.

In the series, Tulsa holds a commanding lead, but over the past three years the Lady Razorbacks have been the aggressor. In 2004 the Lady’Backs defeated the Golden Hurricane for the first time in seven meetings by the narrowest of margins, 1-0 in Fayetteville. The Arkansas wins continued in 2005 and 2006 with scores of 5-1 and 2-0, respectively, the 2005 score being the most lopsided win by any team in the 25 career meetings between the schools.

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