Soccer Hosts Central Michigan Friday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 28, 2008

 OU Soccer (0-1) vs. Central Michigan (1-0) and Ball State (0-1)
 Date  Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m.
 Location  Norman, Okla.  |  John Crain Field (Capacity: 3,500)
 Internet  Live Stats  |  Live Webcast on Friday
 Promotions  Friday: Opening Night  |  Sunday: Free Admission
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF) | 2008 Media Guide

NORMAN, Okla.-- Following a 3-1 defeat in the season opener at Colorado College, the Sooners (0-1) will look to bounce back as they host Central Michigan (1-0) in the home opener on Friday, Aug. 29.  The contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex.

The first 250 fans will receive OU 2008 schedule T-shirts and soccer posters will also be available.

On Sunday, Aug. 31, OU welcomes Ball State (0-1) for a 1 p.m. contest. 

Sunday’s game features free admission and the first 500 fans will receive OU soccer schedule magnets. 

Fans can follow the action live from Norman this Friday on the internet with live stats on and a live webcast on Oklahoma All-Access, the site’s premium broadband channel.  Sunday’s contest can be followed via live stats.  Click the links above in the information box to access the live events.

Central Michigan comes to Norman after winning its season opener at Detroit with a 3-1 decision.  The Chippewas were led by junior forward Stephanie Martin who recorded a goal and an assist in the victory.   Martin is one of three scorers from CMU’s roster that ranked in the top five in the Mid American Conference in scoring.  Martin, a first team All-MAC selection, is joined by juniors Molly Gerst and Amanda Waugh.

Eight letterwinners and seven starters return for the Chippewas from a 2007 squad that finished 8-10-0 and 10th in the MAC (4-7).  CMU is picked to finish eighth this season.

OU and CMU have never met and the Sooners are 1-0 all-time against the MAC after a 4-1 win in Norman over Western Michigan in 2005.

Ball State suffered a 1-0 loss at Valparaiso in last weekend’s season opener.  The Cardinals are idle on Friday before Sunday’s match-up with Oklahoma, the first in the series between the two programs.
BSU was picked to finish second in the MAC and is led by senior midfielder Annie Ailleo and senior forward Emily Rein, both all-conference selections in 2007.

The Cardinals return 15 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2007 squad that posted a 13-5-2 overall record and became the first team in conference history to win back-to-back outright regular season titles. 

Oklahoma is 7-4-1 in home openers, including a 5-1-1 mark in the last seven seasons.   The only loss in that seven-year span came against Michigan in 2006.  In those seven seasons, OU has outscored the opposition 21-4.

OU heads south to play at North Texas on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.  Following the road contest, the Sooners return to the OU Soccer Complex to host the Rice Owls at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7

OU dropped the season opener and debut for first-year head coach Nicole Nelson on Friday, Aug. 22 at Colorado College.  The Sooners suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Tigers after allowing a goal in the first minute of the contest.  Freshman Kelsey Kraft helped tie the game at one goal apiece for OU, but CC rallied back with a goal late in the first half and another in the second session.

Transfers Lisa Jett and Sage Coralli were among two of the four newcomers that started Friday’s opener.  The pair was joined by freshmen Kelsey Kraft and Michelle Alexander as starters on defense and in the midfield, respectively.

Entering the 2008 season, sophomore forward Whitney Palmer is tied for fifth all-time with four career game-winning goals.  Palmer’s four game winners scored in 2007 ranks in a tie for third in a single season.

Senior Katie Corbitt and sophomore Kelsey Allison were voted as the 2008 captains by their teammates and the coaching staff last week.  Corbitt entered the season with more starts and games played than any other Sooner on the current roster and has made 36 consecutive starts for OU.  Allison played in all but one game as a freshman in 2007 and made 13 starts.  Allison was part of the talented group of newcomers that combined to score nine goals last season.

First year head coach Nicole Nelson and assistant coach Kara Lowery bring to Norman six years of combined experience coaching in the Big 12 Conference.  Coach Nelson was an assistant at Texas the last two seasons where the Longhorns won back-to-back Big 12 Tournament Championships and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.  Nelson spent the 2005 season as a member of the Baylor coaching staff.  Lowery comes from Lawrence, Kan., where she helped lead the Jayhawks into the top five of the Big 12 standings for three seasons as an assistant.  Despite not having experience in the conference, assistant coach Graeme Abel helped Nevada the past three seasons set a program record for wins and advance to the Wolfpack’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Only five upper classmen can be found on this year’s roster as three seniors (Katie Corbitt, Traci Dickenson and Helen Ajufo) and two juniors (Ashley Farrand and Kate Marr) will look to lead a young squad.  Despite the lack of juniors and seniors, OU returns 14 sophomores, five of which saw significant playing time in 2007 and scored 22 of the team’s 30 goals.

Oklahoma All-Access,’s premium site, will provide a live webcast for every Friday home game throughout the 2008 season.  Additional games may be added to the broadcast schedule at a future date.  In addition, live stats are available for all Sooner Soccer games this season.

NEW IN 2008
A talented recruiting class joins the Sooners in 2008, including two Division I transfers Lisa Jett (UCLA) and Sage Coralli (Pepperdine).  The remaining freshman class is made up of Michelle Alexander, Danielle Digeralamo, Abbey Golliher, Kelsey Kraft, Jordan King and Jordan White.

Texas was picked to win the 2008 Big 12 soccer championship in a preseason vote of league head coaches.  The Sooners were tabbed ninth after finishing in that same spot a year ago.

The Longhorns received five of 11 first place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players) and totaled 94 points. Texas A&M, chosen second, received four first-place votes and 93 points, while Missouri came in third with 77 points and two first-place votes.

The Preseason All-Big 12 Team included seven All-Big 12 First Team selections from 2007. Those returnees include goalkeeper Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M); defenders Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Kasey Moore (Texas) and Michelle Wenino (Colorado); midfielder Yolanda Odenyo (Oklahoma State) and forwards Kristin Andrighetto (Missouri) and Nikki Marshall (Colorado). Moore was the 2007 Big 12 Defender of the Year.

1. Texas (5) 94
2. Texas A&M (4) 93
3. Missouri (2) 77
4. Oklahoma State 71
5. Colorado 66
6. Kansas 60
7.  Texas Tech 48
8. Nebraska 33
9. Oklahoma 29
10. Iowa State 18
11. Baylor 14



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