Aug. 21, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- Three freshmen contributed on each of the Sooners’ three goals as the OU soccer team (1-0) rolled to a 3-0 victory over visiting Missouri State (0-1) on Friday in front of 558 fans at John Crain Field.
“I was very happy with us being able to get those freshmen minutes, and their performance once they came in,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “This group of freshmen is really composed when they step on the field. I think that comes from good leadership from the upper classmen and helping them and being good teammates on the field.”
Freshman Dria Hampton helped give OU a 1-0 lead after she delivered an assist to sophomore Jordan White in the 21st minute.
“Dria is a great playmaker, that’s what I say over and over again,” said Nelson about the heralded recruit’s debut. “That’s (tonight’s performance) what she can give us day in and day out.”
Junior Whitney Palmer, an All-Big 12 preseason pick, scored the Sooners’ second goal as she moved into a tie for fifth place all-time with 15 career scores. Freshman Briana Turang set up the score to give OU a 2-0 lead at the 41:39 mark just before halftime.
“Victory is what we wanted but it was important to come out and play hard the entire game and put into the game what we practiced on,” said Palmer.
In the second half, freshman Jessica Johnson tallied the game’s third and final score in the 81st minute as her diving header found the back of the net on perfectly placed ball from Ashlee Coleman, who was credited with her first career assist.
Another Sooner newcomer, freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire, recorded her first career shutout after making two saves in the contest. Devonshire’s first save came on a Missouri State breakaway early in the game that could have tied the game at one.
The Sooners and Bears ended the night with 12 shots apiece but OU finished with 7-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Senior Ashley Farrand led all Sooners with three shots in the contest, including two on goal that featured a near miss as her header banged off the cross bar with 31 minutes left in the game.
OU improved to 3-0-1 when opening a season at home and 7-6-1 all-time in season openers. In addition, the Sooners are undefeated in three meetings against Missouri State with the last coming in 2006.
The Sooners return to action on Sunday, Aug. 23, to host Sam Houston State (0-0) at 7 p.m. for “Fans First Day.” All fans in attendance are admitted free.