Aug. 26, 2007
DALLAS, Texas - Oklahoma and SMU played 89 minutes of scoreless soccer at Wescott Field on Sunday until the ball deflected off a defender after senior Tenesha Duncan's cross at the 88:59 mark. The Mustangs had trouble clearing the ball out of their defensive end and surrendered the only score of the game on their own goal.
Both teams had their chances at scoring throughout the contest, but OU was more productive with an 8-4 advantage in the shot column, including seven shots on goal, while limiting SMU to one.
"I was pleased with our performance, but you could tell it was our first game of the preseason," said OU head coach Randy Evans. "We put forth a good effort and we expect to keep getting better as the season begins next week."
After a slow first half that saw OU outshoot SMU 2-1, the two teams produced a combined nine shots in the second half. The Sooners also finished the game with four corner kick opportunities, while SMU only produced one chance from the corner.
"The first half was shaky and we had trouble maintaining possession," added Evans. "We came out strong in the second half and felt like each time our front line touched the ball, that someone was going to find the back of the net."
The coaching staff started five freshmen on Sunday, including three at the forward positions. The front line consisting of Kelsey Allison, Lauren Alkek and Whitney Palmer each tallied a shot on the afternoon. Ashley Bolden (defense) and Tiana Dickson (midfield) were the other two newcomers starting for OU on Sunday.
"Despite playing in their first real collegiate game, I thought the freshmen played well today," said Evans. "The front line was fun to watch and our defense was also solid today. With the exception of a couple of mistakes, this was a good defensive effort to hold a team like SMU scoreless."
Senior Jennifer Nichols and redshirt freshman Tara Macdonald combined to record the shutout over SMU. Macdonald made the only save of the game for the Sooners in the second half.
Sunday's game was the Sooners' only tune up of the preseason as their focus now shifts to the opener against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31.
The regular season opener is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start time at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex. The first 250 fans through the gates will receive a free soccer schedule T-shirt. To purchase tickets, call (405) 325-2424 or toll-free (800) 456-GoOU. OU will also host ORU that weekend on Sept. 2 at 3 p.m.