OU Opens Big 12 at Home vs. Texas

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009

Sept. 24, 2009

Sooner Soccer (5-3-1) vs. Texas (3-5) and No. 13 Texas A&M (5-3)
 Games 10 and 11  Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.
 Location  Norman, Okla.  |  John Crain Field (Capacity: 3,500)
 Internet  Live Stats | Webcast
 Promotions  Kick for the Cure, team photos, autographs and more
 Tickets  Adults - $8, Children - $5 | Call or Purchase Online
 Game Info  2009 Media Guide | Weekly Releases

NORMAN, Okla.-- Oklahoma (5-3-1) opens Big 12 play this weekend against Texas on Friday, Sept. 25 for a 7 p.m. contest in Norman.  The Longhorns (3-5) come into the Red River Rivalry game without a top 25 rankings for the first time since 2004.  Texas is 3-3 at home but has played just two road games with losses at then-No. 14 Cal and Saint Mary’s (neutral site).  Most recently, the Longhorns dropped a pair of home contests to Washington State and New Mexico last weekend.

Texas returns 15 letterwinners and seven starters from the 2008 team that was 13-4-4 overall and 5-2-3 (sixth) in the Big 12.  The Longhorns also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before getting knocked out by Portland.  Junior forward Niki Arlitt leads the 2009 offense with three assists and five points (one goal).

The Longhorns lead the all-time series, 7-5-1, and have won the last two meetings (tied in 2006), including the last game played in Norman (4-0 win in 2007).  OU is 4-2 at the OU Soccer Complex against UT with its last win in the series coming at home in 2005.

Game 11 | vs. Texas A&M
Sunday’s match-up against No. 13 Texas A&M (5-3) will mark OU’s first game against a ranked opponent this season.  The Aggies jumped five spots in the rankings this week after topping then-No. 2 Portland at home, 3-1.  Texas A&M is 2-2 overall against ranked teams in 2009 with a season-opening win over a then-No. 8 USC team, which topped OU 1-0 last weekend in Norman.

The Aggies return 19 letterwinners and nine starters from last season’s team that finished 18-5-1 and 7-2-1 in the Big 12 (second).  Texas A&M lost in the Elite Eight in the 2008 NCAA Championship to eventual champion North Carolina.  Junior forward Whitney Hooper leads the Aggies this season with four goals and nine points.

Texas A&M has dominated the series with OU, winning all 14 meetings, including five games played in Norman.  Six of the all-time contests have been decided by one goal, including the last played in Norman, a 1-0 Texas A&M win during the 2007 campaign.

Promotions - Kick for the Cure
OU will host “Kick for the Cure” on Friday in honor of raising breast cancer awareness.  The first 1,000 fans will receive “Kick for the Cure” pink bracelets and are encouraged to wear pink to the contest.  In addition, the Sooners will wear special pink jerseys in honor of the event.  Other promotions include; first 500 fans receive pink glow sticks, special giveaways for fans wearing pink, and $.50 hot dog and coke night while supplies last. On Sunday, the first 250 fans will receive a 2009 OU team photo. 

On the Web
Fans can follow both games on the web with live stats on SoonerSports.com and a video webcast on Oklahoma All-Access.

Player to Watch - Ashley Farrand, Senior, F  |  Tulsa, Okla.
The senior captain scored her first goal of the season last weekend against Lamar.  The score was the second of the Oklahoma native’s career.  In 2009, she ranks fourth on the team with four points and is tied for second with two assists.
2009 Season Stats: 5 starts, one goal, two assists, four points, 15 shots (7 on goal)

Next Weekend
OU leaves the friendly confines of its home field to battle Colorado and Texas Tech in the first Big 12 road games of the season.  The Sooners battle the Buffs at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 and concludes the weekend on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. in Lubbock.

Last Time Out
The Sooners split a pair of home games over the weekend with a 2-0 win over Lamar on Friday and 1-0 defeat to USC on Sunday.  Senior Ashley Farrand and junior Whitney Palmer scored in Friday’s victory.  Sunday’s loss marked the first at home suffered by the Sooners this season.

Sooners in Big 12 Ranks
While Kelsey Devonshire is tied for the Big 12 lead with four shutouts, two other Sooners, Dria Hampton and Whitney Palmer can be found in more than one of the conference’s top five categories.    Whitney Palmer ranks second in both goals scored (7) and points (16) and ranks fifth in shots.  Hampton is third with 38 shots and four assists.

Big 12 Openers
OU has opened the Big 12 schedule on the road in each of the last three seasons.  The last time OU opened Big 12 play at home was in 2005, a 2-0 win over then-No. 21 Texas.

Home vs. Away
While it’s no secret that OU has fared better at home with a 5-1 record compared to an 0-2-1 mark on the road, the season stats highlight the Sooners’ home-field advantage.  In six home games, OU has outscored its opponents 13-2 and is averaging 2.17 goals per game on 23.67 shots and 4.5 corner kicks.  In the Sooners’ three road contests, they are averaging one goal on 13 shots and 4.6 corner kicks.

Spreading the Wealth
Eight different Sooners have scored goals after seven games, surpassing the amount of scorers (5) from a year ago.  In addition, the group has surpassed the amount of goals scored in 2008 (14) with 16 scores.  While Whitney Palmer leads the squad with seven scores, Michelle Alexander and Dria Hampton rank second with two goals.  The latest goal-scorer, freshman Katharine Nutman, tallied her first goal in her debut at Middle Tennessee.

After Nine Games
While the Sooners have completed nearly half of the regular season schedule, they are off to one of the program’s better starts when looking at the first nine games of a season.  OU is 5-3-1 so far in 2009 and only trails the 2005 (8-1), 2002 and 2001 (7-2) and 2000 (6-3) teams.  The last time the Sooners were 5-3-1 after nine games was the 2003 season, OU’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Shots on Goal
The Sooners have dominated opponents this season with a 93-53 advantage in shots on goal.  After nine games, OU already has 182 overall shots compared to 207 last season (68 on goal).  OU has registered double-digit shots on goal in five contests with a 4-0-1 mark. The Sooners recorded a season-high 32 shots against Sam Houston and a team-best 15 shots on goal against Tulsa.

Devonshire Named Big 12 Player of the Week
Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire was named the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday.  The accolade is the first of Devonshire’s career and she is the second Sooner to be honored by the league this season (Whitney Palmer - offensive on Sept. 1). Devonshire recorded her fourth shutout of the season in Oklahoma’s 2-0 win against Lamar last Friday. The North Richland Hills, Texas, native ranks sixth on the Sooners’ single season list and fourth on the all-time career list. Devonshire’s shutout over Missouri State in the season opener was the first recorded by a Sooner goalkeeper in a debut.

Palmer Records Hat Trick; Moves into Fourth
Junior forward Whitney Palmer became the second player in school history to record a hat trick on Aug. 30 vs. Tulsa, tying the mark set by Logan Womack in 2002, the program’s all-time leading goal scorer.  Palmer was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts and has since moved into sole possession of fourth place on OU’s all-time goals scored list.   Below is a look the top four goal scorers in OU history: 

 Rank, Player  Goals  Years
 1.  Logan Womack  34  2000-03
 2.  Jonette Coquat  26  1998-01
 3.  Savannah Scott  22  2003-06
 4.  Whitney Palmer  21  2007-present



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