Nov. 1, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma soccer Head Coach Nicole Nelson and forwards Whitney Palmer and Caitlin Mooney were honored by the Big 12 Conference coaches on Monday. Nelson was voted the Big 12 Head Coach of the Year along with Oklahoma State's Colin Carmichael, while Palmer was selected to the second team and Mooney to the newcomer team.
The Sooners are enjoying a breakout season as they were picked 10th in the preseason and enter this week's Big 12 Championship as the No. 4 seed. OU is 10-7-2 in 2010 and tied a program record with five Big 12 wins to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2005.
Nelson, who entered her third year at the helm in 2010, is the second coach in program history to collect the honor as Randy Evans was voted in 2000. Nelson was also tabbed the 2003 and 2004 Southland Coach of the Year at Stephen F. Austin.
Palmer collected her fourth consecutive conference honor and is the only Sooner in program history to be named All-Big 12 in every season. The Plano, Texas, native has led OU in scoring each of the last four years and earlier this season, the senior became the program's all-time leader in goals scored (37) and points (80).
Mooney, a sophomore transfer, is second on the team behind Palmer (8) with six goals a year after leading Maryland to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Edmond, Okla., native is the first Sooner since Palmer to be named to the newcomer team (2007).
"I am extremely humbled and honored by the recognition of our staff by our peers," said Nelson. "We understand that the players and coaches inside our program are not honored unless we are moving in a positive direction. That is what I am most proud of, the hard work and commitment from our coaches and players to getting better each day. We are excited for the opportunity that lies in front of us this week as this team looks to make history in the postseason."
The Sooners will play in play in the first round of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday, Nov. 3 against the No. 5 seed Texas. The game will be played at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas, at 11:30 a.m.
Oklahoma defeated Texas on Oct. 24 in Austin by a 2-1 count in double overtime. It marked the Sooners' first win at Texas and also snapped a three-game losing streak in the series.
OU's only win in the Big 12 tournament came in 2000 against Texas. The Sooners are 0-5 since and have not advanced to the title game.