March 4, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma soccer team started its spring season the same way it ended the fall campaign - with a two-game winning streak - Saturday in Norman. The Sooners beat Central Oklahoma 7-0 in the noon match and turned around to blank the '81 Norman Fury 3-0 later in the day.

"It was a terrific performance from the team," noted head coach Randy Evans. "The defense carried the team in the fall and it was nice to see them continue their great play. We were able to shut down the attacks of both teams this weekend."

All-Big 12 defender Christen Secrest and sweeper Bridgette Smith led the Sooners' defense. Smith has moved to sweeper this spring in place of the injured Emily Land, who is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

Another bright spot for the team was the production of the offense, an area OU struggled with in the fall.

"I was thrilled with the execution of our front line," said Evans. "We've spent a lot of time working on combination play and on the spacing in our attack, so it's nice to see the hard work starting to pay off."

In the first game against UCO, the Sooners received three goals each from forwards Shannon Wing and Jonette Coquat.

"Shannon's movement off the ball created a lot of scoring chances," said Evans, "and Jo was strong in her one-on-one battles. Melanie Brosnahan did great job of reading the defense and assisting on the goals."

In the second game, OU was paced by Kate Rusley, who scored the team's first two goals.

"Kate dominated the center of the midfield," said Evans. "What makes her performance even more impressive is that she probably ran more than anyone else in the earlier game and she still had the energy for that type of an effort. It was tremendous."

The Norman Fury team featured two players that will be joining the OU squad in the fall. Erin Young and Logan Womack have signed national letters of intent to play for the Sooners next year.

"We're thrilled to have them coming. Both players are exciting to watch. They have the talent and athleticism to make an immediate impact for us," said Evans.

Without a doubt, the worst news from the weekend was the injury to redshirt freshman Shannon Wing. The Broken Arrow native tore her ACL and will have reconstructive surgery next week.

"Shannon was playing the best I've seen her play. Her play as of late had created a great deal of optimism for the fall and we hope beyond hope that she'll be able to recover in time for the season."

Injuries aren't new to this group of Sooners as Wing will be the fourth player rehabilitating a torn ACL in the last eight months. Evans said she's the 12th player to be added to the injured reserved list this spring.

"With a roster of 23 for the spring, it's hard to imagine that we are hard pressed to put 11 on the field, but that's the situation we're in," explained Evans. "We'll have to rely on some of our seniors coming back to enable us to continue with the spring schedule."

The soccer team travels to Dallas March 25 to play TCU and North Texas, then travels to Tulsa April 1 to play Oklahoma Christian and Tulsa Soccer Club '82. OU then returns home for parents' weekend April 8. The Sooners will face Fury '83 and Edmond Premier '83. Oklahoma concludes its spring season April 15 in Edmond against Oral Roberts and Tulsa.