NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners (8-10-1 overall, 3-6-1 Big 12), who finished the regular season with a 5-2-1 record down the stretch, will look to carry that momentum into the first round of the 2006 Big 12 Championship where they will face Oklahoma State (15-2-2, 8-1-1).
Wednesday’s Bedlam rematch is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. The contest marks the first between the two in-state rivals in the postseason.
FOLLOW LIVE ACTION
Live Stats for the Big 12 Championship can be tracked on Big12Sports.com or by clicking the link below:
STADIUM AND TICKET INFORMATION
The University of Texas and the San Antonio Sports Foundation will co-host the Big 12 Soccer Championship at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. It marks the 10th consecutive year that the event will be held at the venue. In 1996, the first league soccer championship was at the Anheuser-Busch Conference and Sports Centre in St. Louis, Mo. Single-game tickets are on sale for $6 on Big12Sports.com.
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Oklahoma State finished the regular season with a second-place finish in the Big 12 standings and were ranked as high as No. 9 in the top 25 polls (Soccer Buzz) last week.
The Cowgirls are enjoying an eight-game unbeaten streak and have not lost a game since Sept. 27 at Texas A&M (L, 3-1). Last weekend, OSU topped Oral Roberts (1-0) and Murray State (4-0).
Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Stigler has taken over the goalkeeping duties for OSU since the last time it faced Oklahoma. Stigler is 9-1-1 with six shutouts and a 0.72 goals-against average.
Freshman Siera Strawser is the Cowgirls’ offensive leader. The midfielder is tied for the team lead in goals (5) and owns a team-best 16 points (third on team with six assists).
OSU finished the 2005 season with a 10-6-3 overall record and a 3-6-1 mark in Big 12 play.
The Cowgirls return eight starters from last year’s team that had its season end in the season finale against Oklahoma (3-2 loss at home).
OU-OSU SERIES INFORMATION
OSU owns an 8-2-1 advantage in the series, including this year’s 2-1 victory in Norman, but recently the Sooners have fared better against the Cowgirls. OU won last year’s contest in Stillwater, 3-2, and is 2-3-1 over the last six seasons.
Excluding the first ever meeting, a 5-1 victory for OSU, each of the following 10 games were decided by one goal or less, including four overtime games. Below is a look at the yearly breakdown of the Bedlam series:
09.15.06 @ Norman, Okla. OSU 2, OU 1
10.28.05 @ Stillwater, Okla. OU 3, OSU 2
10.29.04 @ Norman, Okla. OSU 1, OU 0
10.27.03 @ Stillwater, Okla. OU 0, OSU 0 (2OT)
11.01.02 @ Stillwater, Okla. OSU 3, OU 2
11.02.01 @ Norman, Okla. OU 2, OSU 1
10.28.00 @ Stillwater, Okla. OSU 2, OU 1 (2OT)
09.28.99 @ Norman, Okla. OSU 1, OU 0
09.18.98 @ Stillwater, Okla. OSU 2, OU 1 (OT)
10.31.97 @ Norman, Okla. OSU 1, OU 0 (2OT)
09.29.96 @ Stillwater, Okla. OSU 5, OU 1
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Sooners will make their fifth appearance in the Big 12 Championship next week (all in the Evans’ era). OU is 1-4 in the conference’s postseason tournament and has lost four consecutive games since winning its debut over Texas in 2000. Below is a look at the Sooners’ history in the Big 12 Championship:
LAST TIME OUT
The Sooners finished the regular season with a 1-0 victory over Missouri State on Thursday. Senior Kady Kelly netted the game-winning goal to improve OU to 8-10-1 overall (3-6-1 in Big 12 play).
OU EARNS 10 ACADEMIC HONORS
The Sooners placed 10 members on the first and second teams, the third highest total in the conference. Among the Sooners named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team were seniors Andrea Hurley and Savannah Scott, juniors Shana All, Colleen Keester and Jennifer Nichols and sophomores Helen Ajufo and Katie Corbitt. Senior Kady Kelly and juniors Allyson Kucera and Jayme Seetin were OU’s second-team honorees.
Oklahoma has accumulated 22 academic honorees in the last two seasons and for two Sooners, Hurley and Seetin, the 2006 awards marked the third in their collegiate careers. In addition, four members of the junior class collected their second straight honor (All, Keester, Kucera and Nichols).
THE LAST EIGHT GAMES
Since suffering three consecutive losses, OU has rebounded to post a 5-2-1 mark, its best finish to a regular season. The Sooners’ current success can be attributed to the offense which has scored 18 of the team’s 29 goals this season in the last eight contests. Twelve different Sooners have recorded points in that span (eight goal scorers) and as a team, OU is averaging 14 shots and 4.6 corner kicks during the last eight games (5.09 shots and 4.18 corner kicks in the first 11 games of the season). Below is a look at the Sooners’ offense in the last eight games compared to the first 11 games of the year.
SCORING FIRST = SUCCESS
OU has scored first in 10 games this season and has only suffered losses against Washington and Oklahoma State. In comparison, nine opponents this season have jumped out on top first and OU is 0-8-1 in those games. The only game that the Sooners came from behind was the 3-3 tie at then-No. 10 Texas on Oct. 1. That trend held true last season as well. The Sooners were 10-0-1 when scoring first in 2005 and 3-6 when falling behind (wins over Saint Louis, East Carolina and Oklahoma State).
On Oct. 22, OU posted a season-high five goals against Northern Iowa. The game marked the first five-goal game for Oklahoma since Sept. 4, 2004 (W, 5-0 vs. TCU). Additionally, the offensive surge marked the 31st time in the Randy Evans’ era that the Sooners scored three or more goals in a game. In those contests, OU is undefeated at 30-0-1 with the only blemish coming against Texas earlier this year.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
Besides last Thursday’s game and the trip to Hawai’i that saw OU play on Saturday and Monday, the squad has played every game this season on either Friday or Sunday. The Sooners have fared better during the Sunday games compared to the Friday night contests. The Oct. 6 win over Missouri was the first of the season for the Sooners on a Friday. After starting the season 0-5 on Fridays, OU has won three straight on that day. Below is a look at that comparison:
SHUTTING OUT THE OPPOSITION
The Sooners have held opponents to one goal or less in 11 games this season, including seven shutouts, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Jennifer Nichols has recorded all seven of the team’s shutouts and is tied for first in the conference with Kansas’ Julie Hanley. In the last two seasons, Nichols and the Sooners have held opponents to one goal or less on 24 occasions, including 14 shutouts.
The Sooners faced seven teams throughout the 2006 season that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. OU is 2-4-1 in those games with wins over Iowa State and Michigan State and losses to Colorado, Purdue, Texas A&M and Nebraska (tied Texas).
NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES
For the second time in the program’s 11-year history, the Oklahoma soccer team was seen live on national television, as aired by ESPNU on Sunday, Oct. 1. The Sooners tied then-No. 10 Texas to improve to 0-1-1 when appearing on television. The Sooners made their national television debut last year in Lincoln, Neb. College Sports Television (CSTV) aired the Oct. 21 contest that saw Nebraska edge Oklahoma 2-1.
HOME SWEET HOME
Oklahoma, who traditionally is tough to beat at home, finished the season with a 7-5 mark. Last year, OU enjoyed its best record at John Crain Field with a 9-1 mark, besting the 8-1-1 mark established in 2001. OU is 53-31-7 lifetime at home, including a 30-12-4 mark over the last five seasons.
The Sooners have experienced limited success away from home this season, posting a 1-4-1 record. OU topped Texas Tech on Oct. 13 and tied then-No. 10 Texas on Oct. 1. Below is a comparison of the Sooners’ stats on the road and at home:
The Sooners have struggled with first-time opponents this season. OU has faced five teams in 2006 for the first time during regular or postseason play (Washington, Hawai’i, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Northern Iowa) and recorded a 2-4 record against them (topped Michigan State and Northern Iowa).
EVANS VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
The Sooners finished the regular season with a 5-4 mark against teams outside of the Big 12 and have Missouri State remaining. In 2005, OU posted its best non-conference record (8-1, .889 winning percentage) in program history. The last time OU had a losing non-conference record during a season was in 1999, current head coach Randy Evans’ first year. Evans, now in his eighth season at OU, is 43-20-5 (.664) against non-conference opponents.
Against Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts, the Sooners combined to record 55 shots. Included in that stat is the 32 shots fired against the Golden Eagles on Sept. 17. That mark is the fourth highest total in school history behind the following totals:
52 vs. LSU (2-2) on Oct. 3, 1999
40 vs. Drury (8-1) on Sept. 1, 1997
36 vs. Southeast Louisiana (5-0) on Sept. 22, 2001
Kady Kelly’s goal scored with 26 seconds off the clock in the first half on Sunday against Stephen F. Austin was the second fastest goal scored in OU history and just the third scored in the first minute of a game by a Sooner. Below is a look at the top ten fastest goals in OU history:
00:21 Sept. 6, 2002 - Shannon Wing at Drury
00:26 Sept. 10, 2006 - Kady Kelly vs. Stephen F. Austin
00:54 Aug. 29, 2004 - Allyson Kucera vs. SMU
2:24 Sept. 3, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Colorado College
2:52 Aug. 27, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Oral Roberts
2:55 Sept. 4, 2001 - Logan Womack vs. Oral Roberts
3:05 Oct. 4, 2002 - Krissy Dawson vs. TCU
4:38 Sept. 30, 2001 - Logan Womack at Missouri
4:45 Sept. 9, 1998 - Megan Olsen at Stephen F. Austin
5:02 Oct. 1, 1999 - Heather Martinelli vs. Colorado
EVANS INDUCTED INTO MARYVILLE HALL OF FAME
On Friday, Oct. 13, Oklahoma head coach Randy Evans was one of six individuals inducted into Maryville College’s Wall of Fame (Tenn.). Evans, a soccer standout, led the nation in scoring with 28 goals in 1989. Evans graduated cum laude from Maryville College in 1991 with a degree in business.
HABIBI EARNS BIG 12 NEWCOMER AWARD
Junior midfielder/forward Audrey Habibi became the second player in OU history to receive the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week award on Tuesday, Oct. 10 (Lauren MacIver Oct. 1, 2002). She is the second Sooner to receive a Big 12 weekly honor this year (Jennifer Nichols - Defense - Sept. 12). Against Iowa State and Missouri, Habibi, who played two years at Central Oklahoma, made her first and second career starts. On Friday against Missouri, Habibi scored her second career goal and recorded her first career assist on the Sooners’ game-winning goal. Two days later, Habibi followed the performance with two assists against Iowa State on Sunday. The two-assist game against the Cyclones tied a school record. Habibi is the second player to accomplish the feat this season (Kady Kelly) and 11th in OU history.
OU TABBED SIXTH IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
Oklahoma was picked to finish in sixth place in the Big 12 Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll. Texas A&M was picked to win the 2006 Big 12 after receiving seven of 11 first place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players) and totaled 97 points. Nebraska was chosen second with two first place votes and 83 points. Texas was a close third with two first place votes and 82 points. OU trailed Colorado and Kansas at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, and was picked to finish ahead of Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor and Texas Tech.
OU SOCCER COMPLEX RENOVATIONS
The OU Athletics Department completed Phase II of the OU Soccer Complex, a $4.5 million renovation. The addition of a state-of-the-art press box and grandstand, which increases seating capacity to 3,500, is joined by a multi-use building located between the soccer complex and the Headington Family Tennis Center. The OU soccer and tennis clubhouse features a training room, locker rooms, video and conference rooms, team facilities, and equipment, laundry and other support services. The press box is equipped with camera decks and a media level complete with the latest technologies. The attractive conference room/meeting area serves as a versatile location for team meetings and activities, and will be used to hots parents, donors and media.
MACIVER JOINS COACHING STAFF
Lauren MacIver joined the OU coaching staff in August for the 2006 season as a student assistant. MacIver (2002-2005) finished her playing career as the program’s all-time assists leader with 18. A senior captain last season, she led all Sooners in 2005 with eight goals and eight assists (single season record) en route to being named to the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz All-District Second Teams. MacIver’s senior year also produced First Team All-Big 12 honors, marking the second time in school history that a Sooner held that distinction in soccer.