NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team will open the 2005 season on Friday, Aug. 26 at Saint Louis. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. The game will also mark the season opener for the Billikens.
SLU is ranked ninth in the central region by Soccer Buzz magazine and returns eight starters from last year’s team that won the Conference USA regular season crown with a school-record 15 wins.
Saint Louis head coach Tim Champion is entering his 10th year at the helm.
OU and SLU have only met on one other occasion, a 1-1 tie on Aug. 27 of last season (also the season opener). In the contest, Michelle Enos scored off an assist from Shana All in the 41st minute to score the game’s first goal. SLU tied the game for good at the 52:46 mark with a tally from Jamie Perry. The two were also tied with 18 shots apiece after 110 minutes of action and OU held a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks.
The Billikens finished their preseason schedule with a perfect 2-0 mark. SLU defeated Evansville 3-1 and blanked Marquette 2-0.
In the Sooners’ lone exhibition game of the 2005 preseason, sophomore Jennifer Nichols collected six saves in OU’s 3-2 victory over Purdue. Despite allowing the game’s first score, OU rallied with three consecutive goals against the Boilermakers. Enos notched the first OU goal and Savannah Scott followed to take the 2-1 lead. It was in the 70th minute that OU’s Kady Kelly put the game away with the eventual game winner in the 70th minute. Purdue would counter with a goal two minutes later but it was not enough.
On Sunday, OU returns to John Crain Field to host an Arkansas team that defeated Baylor in preseason action, 1-0. Arkansas will open its season on Friday in Tulsa against the Golden Hurricane. Game time is set for 1 p.m. in Norman.
Arkansas finished fifth in the Southeastern Conference West Division last season. The Lady’Backs were 6-11-2 overall and 2-7-2 in conference play. Arkansas, under second year head coach Gordon Henderson, returns 17 letterwinners and 10 starters from that squad.
The Sooners and Lady’Backs will be meeting for the seventh time in the series. OU and Arkansas played a tight contest a year ago, with Andrea Hurley providing the game winner with less than 14 minutes to play. The Sooners are a perfect 6-0 against the Lady’Backs and have defeated the opposition by a 3-1 score in both of the meetings in Norman.
Gates will open at noon at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. The first 500 fans will receive a free 2005 OU soccer poster. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children (K-12). OU students receive free admission with a valid student ID. For more information, including information on group rates, contact the OU ticket office at 800-456-GoOU.