The 2005 version of the Oklahoma soccer team (13-6-1 overall, 5-4-1 Big 12) started off the season on a tear, winning 11 of its first 12 games. The Sooners lone defeat in that span came on the road against then-No. 15 Wisconsin.
OU, led by seventh year head coach Randy Evans, began the program’s tenth year of existence with an overtime win at Saint Louis, the Atlantic 10’s conference champion in 2005.
After the opener, OU rattled off wins over Arkansas, Iowa, Western Michigan, East Carolina, Tulsa, Oral Roberts, Texas State, Texas, Texas Tech and Colorado. Perhaps the most impressive part of the school-record, nine-game winning streak was the three straight victories to begin conference play as OU found itself atop the Big 12 standings.
However, the Sooners winning streak came to an end with a tie at Missouri on Oct. 7. The winning streak started in Iowa (Sept. 4) where OU topped the Hawkeyes, 2-0. The ten-game unbeaten streak then ended two days later at the hands of Kansas. During the unbeaten streak, OU outscored the opposition 25-5, including five shutouts.
After suffering its second loss of the season at Kansas, OU returned home to host another conference powerhouse, Texas A&M. Despite a close first half, the No. 19 Aggies handed the Sooners their second straight defeat and the first and only home loss of 2005. Two days later, OU rebounded and capped off the successful year at home with a 1-0 victory over Baylor on Senior Day.
Despite the team’s success in Norman, the team never seemed to carry that same momentum on the road. OU lost two of its last three games, falling at Nebraska and at Iowa State. But when it mattered most, OU produced a win against Oklahoma State, 3-2, in Stillwater, Okla., to conclude the 2005 regular season and carry some important momentum into the postseason.
For the fourth time in the program’s ten-year history, the Oklahoma soccer team made an appearance in the 2005 Big 12 Championship, as the seventh seed, but lost what proved to be the final game of the season against No. 2 seeded Colorado in the first round.
Despite a disappointing finish and the lack of an NCAA Tournament berth, the 2005 Sooners enjoyed what is probably the best regular season in school history. The Sooners will look to build off their recent success in 2006 with nine starters returning.
Below is a look at some of the highlights of the 2005 season:
*OU won more games than any previous OU team in the program’s ten-year history. Before this season, the 2001 and 2002 Sooners held that honor with 11.
*OU enjoyed its first record above .500 (5-4-1) in conference play and the most wins in Big 12 action.
*The Sooners recorded the best start in school history (11-1-1). The previous best was established by the 2001 and 2002 teams, who both started its respective seasons 6-1.
*OU’s nine-game winning streak broke the mark set by the 2002 team that opened the season with a perfect 6-0 record.
*The Sooners posted more goals (37), assists (40) and points (114) than any previous Sooner squad.
*On Oct. 21, at Nebraska, the OU soccer team made its first appearance on national television. The hard-fought 2-1 defeat was aired by CSTV (College Sports Television).
MACIVER EARNS ALL-CENTRAL REGION HONORS
MacIver, a two-time Second Team All-Big 12 honoree (2002 and 2003), finished off her best season in an OU uniform in 2005. The Tulsa, Okla., native led the 2005 Sooners in goals (8), assists (8) and points (24). Eleven of her 24 points came during Big 12 play (four goals and three assists). The 24 points also ranks third all-time on OU’s single season list (Krissy Dawson, 26 in 2002 and Womack, 27 in 2001). In addition, MacIver’s eight assists in 2005 tied the single season record held by Krissy Dawson. Despite playing in just nine games in 2004 because of an ACL injury, MacIver finished her time in Norman as OU’s career leader in assists with 18 and she is tied for the program lead for game-winning goals (7). Additionally, the 2005 senior ranks third in career goals (18) and points (54).
HURLEY NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Junior defender Andrea Hurley was named to ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District VI Second Team on as announced by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). Hurley, a native of Edmond, Okla., played in all but one game in 2005 and was tied for second on the squad with five assists.
The junior defender is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member and was one of 11 first-team members this season to put the Sooners atop the conference with the most academic accolades. Hurley joins former Sooner Erin Young and 2005 senior captain Christy Kenkel, both two-time members, as the only other Sooner in program history to be named to the Academic All-District VI Team.
BIG 12 HONORS
Nine different Sooners scored goals in 2005, including five players with five or more goals. In 2004, ten different players managed to score a goal but only four posted two or more goals. In addition, the 2005 Sooner offense featured six different players with 10 or more points (program high), besting the 2002 team that featured five Sooners with double-digit points. In 2005, OU outscored the opposition 33-7 in its 13 wins (2.54 goals per game).
NICHOLS SHUTS OUT THE OPPOSITION
Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Nichols turned in one of the best individual performances by a Sooner goalkeeper in the program’s history. Nichols posted seven shutouts in 2005, topping a school record held previously by Catherine Wade (2002) and Jana Cunningham (2000). Nichols led the Big 12 in regular season games in shutouts and compiled a 1.26 goals-against average. In the early part of 2005, Nichols and the Sooner defense held opponents scoreless for 403 minutes and 31 seconds. That streak started against Oral Roberts (9/18) and lasted up until Colorado’s goal (penalty kick) on Oct. 2. The school record for holding opponents scoreless is 433:28 (2001).
ASSISTS ALL AROUND
In 20 games this season, the Sooners registered 40 assists. That total is more than double the 17 assists recorded in 18 games all of last season by OU. The 40 helpers is also a school record for assists recorded in a season by an OU team (topping the 35 set it 1998). In addition, 14 different Sooners contributed assists in 2005 and nine players recorded two or more assists.
HOME SWEET HOME
After playing three of the first four games of the 2005 slate on the road, OU finished the home portion of the 2005 schedule with a school-record 9-1 mark. The Sooners’ lone blemish of the home season came against then-No. 19 Texas A&M. OU outscored the opposition 24-9 at home in 2005, including a 201-103 advantage in shots. Including the 9-1 mark in 2005 at home, the Sooners are 46-26-7 (.627) lifetime in Norman.
2005 OU BIG 12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Jennifer Nichols - Defensive, 8/30
Lauren MacIver - Offensive, 9/20
Savannah Scott - Offensive, 9/27
A number of career firsts have occurred in 2005, below is a look at those accomplishments: