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Samantha Faulkner Online Journal No. 3
September 16, 2004

OU senior midfielder Samantha Faulkner will script her own online journal at SoonerSports.com for the 2004 season. Faulkner will share her experiences with Sooner fans as she captains the OU soccer team.
 
Samantha Faulkner
Journal No. 3 - Sept. 16, 2004
In the last two games against Oral Roberts and Tulsa we did not come out with the record we wanted to, with one win and one draw.  But we played all right.  We outplayed each team, but we still didn’t score as much as we should have.  I guess that is what this team needs to focus on--putting the ball in the back of the net.  Our play last weekend was not characteristic of our team.  We know we can play better than we did those two games.  We are looking to move past ORU and Tulsa and get ready for our big weekend coming up.

We will be in Tempe, Ariz. playing Arizona State and San Diego State this weekend.  I don’t know much about San Diego State, but we have played Arizona State a couple times in the last few years and it is always a really good game.  They are ranked pretty high, No. 9 in one poll.  It will be a tough battle, but so far this season we have stepped up in the bigger games and played better.  Hopefully we will do that again.  I think we are all getting mentally ready to have a strong performance on Friday and Sunday. 

That is enough about those games.  I want to thank everyone for their support and for emailing in all of the questions.  I will get to as many as possible and look forward to answering more next time around.

What soccer player (current or past) do you admire the most and why?
-Shelly from Shawnee, Okla.
I really admire Joy Fawcett.  She plays for the women’s U.S. National Team.  She has been around the sport for so long and on the national team for 10-plus years.  She has had at least two kids, maybe even three, while playing on the national team.  She took the break she needed for family and then came back and got herself into better shape and remained a starter for the U.S. team.  Every time I watch their team play I am in awe of her because of how hard she works and all the hard work she has endured to get where she is today.  She still has the family life and it’s encouraging to know that you can do something so physically demanding and still have a family and make it work together. 

What game besides Texas are you looking forward to the most this season and why?
-Allen from Tulsa, Okla.

The first game of the Big 12 Tournament. Because if we get into the conference tournament, everyone starts from square one in the first round game.  If you lose you are out and if you win your season continues.  As long as we win one game after another in the tournament, we will obtain our goal of winning the Big 12 Championship.  So I am looking forward to the first game of the entire tournament to get it over with and move on from there.

I noticed against Tulsa you used the super-scoop pass.  How and when did you learn the super scoop?
-Geno from Tulsa, Okla.
 
I pulled out the super-scoop pass in high school at ODP (Olympic Development Program) camp.  There are a couple of times I use it, mainly when I am dribbling and the defense steps up close to me.  If I can get the ball in to one of my teammates over the top, I scoop it so it doesn’t go too far and my teammate can still get it.  It may look a little funny because I have to slow down my body and maybe my pigeon toed-feet have something to do with it (laughs).  The pass has kind of became a habit at times.  Hopefully, I will still use that in my arsenal.

Has the team’s offensive style changed any this year?  If so what do you like or dislike about it?
-John from Oklahoma City, Okla.

As far as our lineup goes, offensively we are still playing the same formation to set up the same kind of patterns to score goals.  But the style has changed because of the personnel we have.  Almost everyone that comes into our program is unfamiliar with our style of play and has to learn a new system; some of the current players are still learning it.  This year, the freshmen are grasping it better.  They are really learning what coach wants us to do and understanding how our style can be effective.  The con side of our offense is that it looks like we do not get a lot of players up in goal scoring opportunities.  The pro side is that it creates space for our outside midfielders to come in and get up the field.  I think it confuses the defenses we play against. They don’t really don’t know who to mark defensively, leaving us a lot of open space to be creative and get in and score.  Again, it depends on who we are playing.  I think as long as we can push up as a team we will be more effective.

In your bio you were at the Naval Academy, did you attend as a cadet?  If so, what made you leave the academy?
-Chris from Ponca City, Okla.
 
I applied to the academy, got in and was training to become a naval officer.  I was a Naval Academy Midshipman.  I ended up not meshing well with the structure of the academy.  I like structure and I thought I was the type of person that would enjoy it and thrive in that type of environment, but it was turning me into a person I did not want to be.  It was heading me in a direction I knew I did not want to take.  So I transferred.

That's all for this week.  I hope to see you all again for our next home game against Missouri  on Sept. 24.

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