Sooners Host Big 12 Opener Friday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 23, 2004

Game 9:  Friday, Sept. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Fresh off a road upset of then-No. 9 Arizona State, Oklahoma (4-1-3) plays at home for the first time in six games when it opens the Big 12 season against Missouri (3-4-1) on Friday, Sept. 24 in Norman, Okla. 

Sophomore Kady Kelly scored the game winner against ASU in the 92nd minute to give the Sooners their first win in overtime this season in five attempts.  The win also clinched the Sun Devil Invitational title for the Sooners’ who went 1-0-1 in the tournament, after tying San Diego State (0-0) two days earlier.

Friday’s action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. (CST) at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex.  The Tigers have faced four teams that were ranked at the time of competition this season and have a 0-3-1 record against those opponents (Wisconsin, Illinois, Stanford and Florida).  In its last contest, MIssouri topped Loyola-Chicago 2-1 on Sept. 19 in Columbia.

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Junior Jennifer Nobis is Missouri’s leading goal scorer with five tallies on the season. Senior Karen Bauer is second on the team in points with one goal and and her team-leading two assists.  Freshman goalkeeper Laurea Buehrig has seen all the time in net for the Tigers. Buerhig has allowed 12 goals (1.45 goals-against average) and leads the Big 12 with 38 saves. 

In 2003, Missouri advanced to the finals of the Big 12 Tournament for the third time in the program’s history.  The Tigers return 14 letterwinners and seven starters from the squad that finished seventh in the Big 12 regular season standings.  Missouri finished 2003 with a 12-11-1 overall mark and a 3-6-1 league record. 

After dropping the first four meetings in the series, OU has rattled off three consecutive wins over Missouri, including last year’s 2-1 overtime victory in Columbia.  Then-freshman Savannah Scott scored both Oklahoma goals in that game. 

Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue.    The first 75 OU students will receive a free OU CD case.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children.  Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more at $3 a ticket.  OU students receive free admission with a valid student ID.  In addition, those in attendance at Friday’s game will have the opportunity to win a parking pass for the OU football game vs. Texas Tech on Oct. 2.  For more information, contact the OU ticket office at 800-456-GoOU.

Oklahoma’s win over then-No. 9 Arizona State on Sunday marked the highest ranked opponent OU has defeated since the 2000 season.  On Oct. 15, 2000, in Lincoln, Neb., the Sooners defeated Nebraska, ranked No. 2 in the nation, 2-1.  OU is 1-0-1 against the top 25 this year, with a tie against then-No. 21 SMU on Aug. 29.

Senior Catherine Wade is second in the Big 12 with a 0.36 goals-against average.
Senior goalkeeper Catherine Wade recorded her second shutout of the season when OU blanked Arizona State.  Wade is second in the Big 12 with a 0.36 goals-against average and second in saves with 27.  OU’s all-time leader in shutouts, she has blanked 17 opponents in her career.

Through eight games, the Sooners are off to one of their best starts in school history with their 4-1-3 record (.687).  The Sooners started the 2001 and 2002 seasons with a 6-2 record (.750). 

The Sooners recently ended a five-game stint away from John Crain Field in which they went 3-1-1.  OU is 3-1 on the road this season and 0-0-1 at neutral sites.  After this weekend’s contest versus Missouri, OU will play its next four games in Texas (at Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech).

Freshman Shana All leads the team and ranks third in the Big 12 with five assists.  All but one of All’s five assists have come on perfectly placed corner kicks that found fellow Sooners in the box, three for net-finding headers by freshman Allyson Kucera and another by Michelle Enos.  All also hooked up with freshman Tenesha Duncan for a goal on a cross against Tulsa.  Lauren MacIver led OU in assists with five in 2003 and the all-time mark for assists in a season was set in 2002 by Krissy Dawson (8).

Oklahoma senior Catherine Wade was named the Big 12 Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for games played from Sept. 14-20, the conference announced on Tuesday.  Wade’s honor was the first individual league accolade for a Sooner this season and the third of the Midland, Texas, native’s career.

Wade, a captain, recorded her second shutout of the season and the 17th of her career with a 1-0 overtime victory over then-No. 9 Arizona State on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz.   Wade made eight saves in the match while shutting down a Sun Devils’ offense that was averaging 2.6 goals a game. She also played a half in a scoreless tie against San Diego State last Friday and recorded two saves.

The Sooners appeared in both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz Central Region polls this week.  The Sooners are ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas poll for the first time this season.  OU appears ahead of Big 12 foes Nebraska (No. 8) and Oklahoma State (No. 10).  After two straight weeks at No. 9, No. 10 and No. 11 in the Soccer Buzz Central Region poll, the Sooners made it back into the top ten poll this week at No. 9. 

After playing in a school-record nine overtime games last season (3-1-5 record), OU is now 1-1-3 in extra-session games in 2004.  Dating back to last season, an amazing 11 of OU’s last 18 games have gone to overtime.  In its history, Oklahoma is 7-9-14 in extra time (.467 winning percentage).  Under Evans, OU is 6-4-14 in overtime games (.542 winning percentage).

Junior Lauren MacIver led OU in shots in her first two seasons and is off to an aggressive start in 2004.  The captain has ripped 38 shots in eight games, with two goals scored and 15 shots on goal.  She recorded 61 shots as a freshman and 69 last year.  With 10 regular season games remaining, she is on pace to record 85 shots.  The record for most shots in a single season (80) is held by Jonette Coquat set in 2000. 

Freshman defender Allyson Kucera leads OU with three goals this season.
Despite her solid efforts on defense for OU, freshman Allyson Kucera is getting more attention on offense as she leads the team in goals.  On three occasions, Kucera has pushed up on offense to contribute scores on Sooner corner kicks.  The Texas native already holds the record for most goals scored in a season by an OU defender (Sheri Whatley had two tallies in 1996).

With Big 12 play starting this weekend, OU concluded the 2004 non-conference portion of its schedule with a 4-1-3 mark.  Including this season, the Sooners are 21-6-4 (.742) since 2000 against non-conference opponents.

The Sooners’ 5-0 defeat of TCU on Sept. 3 marked a record night for OU soccer.  The fifth goal tied the record for the most goals scored at John Crain Field, a mark achieved two other times, the most recent on Sept. 22, 2001, against Southeast Louisiana.  The TCU game also marked the most goals scored and the largest margin of victory in 54 games for OU, dating back to that same game in 2001.  OU has scored more than five goals on only two occasions -- in 1998 at Tulsa (6-1) and in 1997 against Drury (8-1).

The 2004 freshman class gained more valuable experience over the weekend with two road games. Lauren Harris, Allyson Kucera and Shana All have combined for 23 starts this season while three other frosh have seen significant time.  Tenesha Duncan has appeared in every game for the Sooners while Jennifer Nichols has five games under her belt and Colleen Keester has four.  As a whole, the freshman class has accounted for 36 percent of OU’s points this season (4 goals, 7 assists).

Three Sooners were named to the 2004 Oklahoma Shootout All-Tournament Team after OU went 1-1 on Sept. 10 and 12.  Freshman defender Lauren Harris, senior defender Erin Young and sophomore midfielder Kady Kelly were all honored for their performances.

OU has made John Crain Field a tough road assignment for opponents over the years as it is 36-21-5 (.621) in its eight seasons.  The winning percentage is even better under Evans.  Now in his sixth year, the Sooners are 28-13-7 (.656) at home under Evans.  Over the past three seasons, OU is 21-4-5 (.783) at John Crain Field.

During the 2004 season, will bring you a weekly segment giving fans a inside look at the players on the OU Soccer team.  Each week, a different player will be spotlighted answering questions varying from most embarrassing moments to nicknames and superstitions.  Click here to access the main page that currently features senior Samantha Faulkner and freshman Tenesha Duncan.

Senior stopper and team captain Samantha Faulkner takes Sooner fans behind the scenes with her online journal as OU plays its 2004 season.



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