This Week: The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack soccer team will face perhaps its toughest two-game stretch of the season this weekend when the Ladyjacks take on teams from the SEC and Big 12. SFA hosts Arkansas Friday night, then travels to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma Sunday. The Ladyjacks bring a 1-1-0 record to the week after splitting a pair of matches in their season-opening weekend. Arkansas is 1-0-0, while Oklahoma is looking for its first win at 0-1-0.
Last Week: SFA opened the 2010 campaign with a 2-1 win over Louisiana Tech. After falling behind, 1-0, early in the contest, the Ladyjacks got a game-tying goal from senior Kim Kimmel. The score remained tied at the break and deep into the second half before Janae Lee put home what proved to be the game-winner. Two days later, SFA again fell behind early, this time in a road contest against Rice. But the Ladyjacks were nat able to recover, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Owls. After Rice added a pair of second-half goals, Kylie Louw got SFA on the board late in the contest.
Series Histories: SFA is 0-2-0 against Arkansas. The Ladyjacks and Razorbacks first met in 1996, SFA's second season of soccer. Arkansas came away with a 9-0 win in that meeting. The teams didn't cross paths again until last season, when Arkansas collected a 3-0 verdict. Friday's contest will mark the Razorbacks' first trip to Nacogdoches. SFA is 1-1-0 in two meetings with Oklahoma. The Ladyjacks took a 2-1 win at home in 1998, Oklahoma's third season to field a soccer team. The series was renewed in 2006 with the Sooners winning, 3-0, in Norman.
The Razorbacks: Arkansas is coming off an 8-7-4 record in 2009 that gave the Razorbacks consecutive winning seasons for the first time in program history. Arkansas opened the 2010 season with a 1-0 home win over Florida International. Goalkeeper Britni Williams recorded her 23rd career shutout in the game, tightening her grasp on the school record in that category.
The Sooners: Oklahoma dropped a tough 1-0 decision at rival Oklahoma State in the season opener for both teams. The Sooners are scheduled to play at Tulsa Friday night before returning to Norman to open the home slate against SFA. Ladyjacks Jordan King and Leslie Shurtleff both played at Oklahoma before transferring to SFA, and all three coaches on the Sooner staff -- head coach Nicole Nelson, associate head coach George Van Linder and assistant Trae Manny -- are former Ladyjack coaches.
Coverage: Friday's game against Arkansas will be streamed live online via SFA All-Access. Subscription fees apply. Fans can also follow the action free via GameTracker. Oklahoma will stream Sunday's contest live through the Sooner All-Access portal (subscription required) and will provide GameTracker coverage.
NEWS AND NOTES
GRAND OPENING: SFA opened the 2010 season with a 2-1 win over Louisiana Tech. That marked the fourth time in five seasons for the Ladyjacks to win their season opener and improved the team to 4-2-1 all-time when beginning the season at home.
OUT TO A GOOD START: The 2-1 win over Louisiana Tech marked a first in SFA program history. With the verdict, Tony Amato became the only first-year Ladyjack head coach to win in his SFA debut. Each of the six coaches before Amato were defeated in their first contests. The best first-year record in program history is the 14-4-0 mark Jaime Frias' squad put up in 2005. SFA won the Southland championship that season with a 7-0-0 record.
COMEBACK: Louisiana Tech went ahead, 1-0, in the early minutes of the season opener, but SFA was able to tie the score later in the half and go on to take a 2-1 win. The Ladyjacks did not register a come-from-behind win in 2009.
ROAD RASH: SFA is trying to rebound from a 3-1 loss at Rice in its first road game of the season. The Ladyjacks went 6-5-2 away from Nacogdoches last season.
DIAL 9 FOR ASSISTANCE: Sophomore Kylie Louw (jersey number 9) is among the SFA career leaders in assists after just one season on campus. She led the team with nine last season and has put up one assist in 2010. With another, Louw will move into a tie for the No. 5 spot on the program's career list.
STARTS STREAK: Senior defender Kelli Barnes has started every game for the last two-plus seasons. Barnes carries a run of 40 consecutive starts, dating to the opener of the 2008 season. She has also led the team in minutes played each of the last two seasons.
FRESH FACES: With eight freshmen and four transfers, SFA suits up 12 first-year players in 2010. The Ladyjacks began the year with 18 first-year players on the roster last season.
FIRST-TIMERS: Starting with its game at Houston Baptist on Sept. 12, SFA will play three straight contests against first-time opponents. The Ladyjacks will meet Houston Baptist, Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in succession.
NINE WINS: SFA finished the 2009 season with a 10-8-2 overall record. This marks the seventh consecutive season for the Ladyjacks to pick up at least nine victories and is the program's seventh straight winning season. The last time an SFA squad failed to reach the nine-win plateau was 2002, also the last time the Ladyjacks posted a losing season (7-9-4).
TITLE TOWN: The SFA women's soccer program has brought an unprecedented five Southland Conference regular-season championships back to Nacogdoches. That total is nearly half of the 13 possible regular-season titles in SLC Soccer history.
BUILDING MOMENTUM: Since its beginnings in 1995, the Ladyjack soccer program has compiled an overall record of 134-124-27. However, the Ladyjacks have really turned the corner in the last seven years. Since the 2002 season, SFA is 89-52-16 overall. In that same stretch, the Ladyjacks have gone 53-14-11 in Southland Conference play with three regular-season championships and a pair of tournament titles to their credit.
SAFE AT HOME: SFA holds an all-time record of 76-35-12 in home games, but that mark is even better at the current venue. Since moving from Homer Bryce Stadium to the SFA Soccer Complex for the 2003 season, the Ladyjacks are 45-8-5 in home contests. Against Southland Conference foes, SFA is a very tough 27-4-3 at the Soccer Complex.