NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners (3-8-1, 0-4-1) will look to build off Sunday’s 3-3 tie at No. 10 Texas and try to improve their standing in the Big 12 with two home conference games this weekend.
On Friday, Oct. 6, the Sooners will host Missouri (8-4, 0-3) at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field. On Sunday, OU returns to action in Norman against Iowa State (6-7, 2-1).
With five conference games remaining (three at home) the Sooners have a solid opportunity to move up in the conference standings this weekend as Missouri sits below them in eighth place and the Cyclones are just two wins ahead and currently are tied for fourth place.
FOLLOW LIVE ACTION
Live Stats for this weekend’s games can be tracked by clicking the link inside this weekend’s preview on SoonerSports.com. In addition, both games can be seen live on the O-Zone, SoonerSports.com’s premium web site.
TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS
Gates will open one hour before each game at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 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.
On Friday, the first 200 fans will receive free OU mini soccer balls and the game will be followed by a fireworks show. On Sunday, the first 250 fans will receive free OU lanyards and the contest will be followed by an autograph session with the team.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Missouri holds a 5-3-1 lead in the all-time series with Oklahoma. The last three games in the series have gone into overtime, including the 2005 contest that saw the teams settle for a 1-1 tie. Missouri won 2-1 in double overtime the last time they met in Norman during the 2004 season and the has had success throughout the years at John Crain Field, posting a 3-1 mark.
The Tigers entered last weekend with a No. 17 national ranking but after losses to Texas Tech, 3-1, and Baylor, 3-0, they have dropped out of the top 25. Missouri was ranked as high as No. 10 after starting the year with a 6-0 record but is 2-4 since then.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mallory Forst (8-4) has seen all but eight minutes this season in the Tigers’ goal. Forst is tied for the Big 12 lead with four shutouts and owns a 1.17 GAA (goals-against average). After a solid start to the season, Forst has struggled by allowing 10 goals in the last four games.
Offensively, sophomore Ashley Hamblin is the Tigers’ leading scorer. Hamblin is fourth in the conference with 15 points and her five goals and five assists are team highs.
Missouri returns seven starters from last year’s team that finished 9-8-3 overall (3-5-2 in Big 12 play) and lost in the first round of the Big 12 Championship to Texas A&M.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES
The last time OU defeated ISU was on Oct. 24, 1999 in Norman. That game is the Sooners’ lone victory in the series that has been controlled by the Cyclones, who own a 7-1-2 advantage. Eight of the ten meetings in the series have been decided by one goal or less and the Cyclones and Sooners have gone into overtime on five occasions throughout the last 10 years.
Iowa State will play at Oklahoma State on Friday after winning three of its last four games.
Freshman goalkeeper Ann Gleason (6-7) recorded her third shutout of the season in the Cyclones’ last outing against Texas Tech, but has allowed 29 goals this season (2.19 GAA). Additionally, Gleason leads the Big 12 with 71 saves. On the offensive side of the field, junior midfielder Brittanie Waddell leads ISU with four goals and nine points in 2006.
In 2005, Iowa State finished 11-7-1 overall (6-3-1 Big 12) and lost in the first round of the Big 12 and NCAA Championships to Texas and Portland, respectively. The Cyclones return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from that squad.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners faced two top ten teams over the weekend on the road and came away with an 0-1-1 record. On Friday, the Sooners could not match up with No. 8 Texas A&M in College Station, dropping a 6-1 decision. On Sunday, OU rebounded to snap its three-game losing streak with a 3-3 tie at No. 10 Texas.
Next weekend, Oklahoma will hit the road for the final trip of the regular season. On Friday, Oct. 13, the Sooners will face Texas Tech (5-7, 1-3) at 7 p.m. The weekend will conclude in Waco, Texas for a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday, Oct. 15 against Baylor (5-6-1, 2-2).
OFFENSE COMES ALIVE
Leading up to the Texas game on Oct. 1, the Sooners were 0-3 and had three goals scored during that streak. On Sunday, the losing streak was snapped after OU tied a season high with three goals. Also during the streak, the Sooners fired 23 shots (7.6/game) and four corner kicks (1.3/game). In the game against the Longhorns, the Sooners more than doubled those averages and connected for 16 shots and seven corner kicks.
NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES
For the second time in the program’s 11-year history, the Oklahoma soccer team was seen live on national television, as aired by ESPNU on Sunday, Oct. 1. The Sooners tied then-No. 10 Texas to improve to 0-1-1 when appearing on television. The Sooners made their national television debut last year in Lincoln, Neb. College Sports Television (CSTV) aired the Oct. 21 contest that saw Nebraska edge Oklahoma 2-1.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
Besides the trip to Hawai’i that saw OU play on Saturday and Monday, the squad has played each game since on either Friday or Sunday. The Sooners have fared significantly better during the Sunday games compared to the Friday night contests. Below is a look at that comparison:
HOME SWEET HOME
Oklahoma, who typically is solid at home, is 3-4 this season, but has a chance to turn that mark around with five of the seven games remaining in 2006 set to be played at John Crain Field. Last year, OU enjoyed its best record at home with a 9-1 mark. OU is 49-30-7 lifetime at home, including a 26-11-4 mark over the last five seasons.
LEADING THE WAY
Oklahoma is 2-0 this season when leading the opposition in shots, holding a 55-19 advantage in the two games against Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts. The Sooners are 1-6-1 when the opposition holds the edge in shots, with the only win coming over Michigan State and a tie occurring at Texas. In the eight losses this season, OU has been outshot 143-63.
Despite the trouble in leading the shot count, OU has had success with holding the advantage in corner kicks in 2006, topping the opponent in six of the 12 games (3-2-1 record when leading).
The Sooners have faced five teams so far this season that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. OU is 1-3-1 in those games with a win over Michigan State and losses to Colorado, Purdue and Texas A&M. Two more NCAA participants from 2005 remain on OU’s schedule (Iowa State and Nebraska).
Against Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts, the Sooners combined to record 55 shots. Included in that stat is the 32 shots fired against the Golden Eagles on Sept. 17. That mark is the fourth highest total in school history behind the following totals:
52 vs. LSU (2-2) on Oct. 3, 1999
40 vs. Drury (8-1) on Sept. 1, 1997
36 vs. Southeast Louisiana (5-0) on Sept. 22, 2001
The Sooners have struggled with first-time opponents this season. OU has already faced five teams in 2006 for the first time during regular or postseason play (Washington, Hawai’i, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue) and recorded a 1-4 record against them. The Sooners will have a chance to improve upon that mark with first-time opponents Northern Iowa and Missouri State remaining on the schedule.
EVANS VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
The Sooners are 3-4 this year against teams outside of the Big 12 and still have Northern Iowa and Missouri State remaining. In 2005, OU posted its best non-conference record (8-1, .889 winning percentage) in program history. The last time OU had a losing non-conference record during a season was in 1999, current head coach Randy Evans’ first year.
Evans, now in his eighth season at OU, is 41-20-5 (.660) against non-conference opponents.
Kady Kelly’s goal scored with 26 seconds off the clock in the first half on Sunday against Stephen F. Austin was the second fastest goal scored in OU history and just the third scored in the first minute of a game by a Sooner. Below is a look at the top ten fastest goals in OU history:
00:21 Sept. 6, 2002 - Shannon Wing at Drury
00:26 Sept. 10, 2006 - Kady Kelly vs. Stephen F. Austin
00:54 Aug. 29, 2004 - Allyson Kucera vs. SMU
2:24 Sept. 3, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Colorado College
2:52 Aug. 27, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Oral Roberts
2:55 Sept. 4, 2001 - Logan Womack vs. Oral Roberts
3:05 Oct. 4, 2002 - Krissy Dawson vs. TCU
4:38 Sept. 30, 2001 - Logan Womack at Missouri
4:45 Sept. 9, 1998 - Megan Olsen at Stephen F. Austin
5:02 Oct. 1, 1999 - Heather Martinelli vs. Colorado 5:02
OU SOCCER COMPLEX RENOVATIONS
The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department has completed Phase II of the OU Soccer Complex, a $4.5 million renovation. The addition of a state-of-the-art press box and grandstand is joined by a multi-use building located between the soccer complex and the Headington Family Tennis Center at the corner of Chautauqua Avenue and Imhoff Road.
Phase II construction began in November of 2005 and the new facility is comprised of spaces for student-athletes, coaches and fans of both soccer and tennis.
The OU soccer and tennis clubhouse features a training room, locker rooms, video and conference rooms, team facilities, and equipment, laundry and other support services.
The press box is equipped with camera decks and a media level complete with the latest technologies. The attractive conference room/meeting area serves as a versatile location for team meetings and activities, and will be used to host special guests, parents, donors and media.
In addition to increasing the seating capacity to 3,500, the complex also includes concessions, rest rooms and a ticket booth to give fans a complete family atmosphere for watching Division I soccer.
MACIVER JOINS COACHING STAFF
Lauren MacIver joined the OU coaching staff in August for the 2006 season as a student assistant. MacIver (2002-2005) finished her playing career as the program’s all-time assists leader with 18. A senior captain last season, she led all Sooners in 2005 with eight goals and eight assists (single season record) en route to being named to the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz All-District Second Teams. MacIver’s senior year also produced First Team All-Big 12 honors, marking the second time in school history that a Sooner held that distinction in soccer.