Soccer Ready for Big 12 Play on the Road

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 01, 2009

Oct. 1, 2009

Soccer (6-4-1, 1-1) at Colorado (6-5, 3-0) & Texas Tech (6-4-1, 1-0-1)
 Game 12  Friday, Oct. 2, at 5 p.m. (CT) | Prentup Field
 Internet  Live Stats and Webcast
 Game 13  Sunday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m. (CT) | John Walker Soccer Complex
 Internet  Live Stats
 Game Info  2009 Media Guide | Weekly Releases

NORMAN, Okla. -- Fresh off the upset over then-No. 13 Texas A&M, Oklahoma (6-4-1, 1-1 Big 12) moved up two spots in the NSCAA Central Region poll this week to No. 8 and will face a Colorado team (6-5 overall) that is ranked two spots ahead of them. 

The Buffaloes enter Friday's 5 p.m. (CT) game in Boulder with a 5-1 mark at home, including a perfect 3-0 record in Big 12 play.  CU handled Oklahoma State 1-0 in the season opener and most recently, Nebraska and Iowa State, by the same score to stand atop the league standings.

Colorado returns 19 letterwinners and six starters from the 2008 team that was 14-5-4 overall and 6-2-2 (fourth) in the Big 12.  The Buffaloes also advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season before getting knocked out by San Diego State in the first round.  Senior forward Nikki Marshall leads Colorado again in 2009 with three goals.  Marshall is a three-time All-Big 12 honoree, a member of USA soccer and on the Hermann Trophy watch list (collegiate player of the year) for the second straight  year.

The Buffs lead the all-time series, 8-4-1, and have won the last four meetings, including the last game played in Boulder (5-0 in 2008).  OU's last series win was in 2005 at home, a 2-1 decision.  The Sooners are 1-5 all-time at Colorado with the only win coming in 2000 (1-0).  Seven games in the series have been decided by one goal or less (two OT games) with CU holding a 4-2-1 lead.

Game 13 | at Texas Tech
Sunday's matchup at Texas Tech (6-4-1, 1-0-1 Big 12) gets underway at 1 p.m. at the John Walker Soccer Complex in Lubbock.  The Red Raiders opened Big 12 play last weekend at home with a 2-0 win over Iowa State and a 3-3 double overtime tie to Nebraska.

Texas Tech return 18 letterwinners and eight starters from last season's team that finished 8-10-1 and eighth in the Big 12 standings at 3-7-0.  The Red Raiders are 3-1-1 at home in 2009 and the offense is led by Dawn Ward, who ranks third in the Big 12 with eight goals, including two game winners.   Ward is one of seven players on the Texas Tech roster with two or more goals. 

The Sooners own a 6-5-1 edge in the all-time series after the Red Raiders won last year's meeting in Lubbock, 2-1, in double overtime.  The win snapped a seven-game winless streak for Texas Tech, which is 3-2 at home against Oklahoma.  Last year's game was the seventh decided by one goal in the series and third played in overtime between OU and Tech.  OU is 2-4-1 in those games.

On the Web
Fans can follow both games on the web with links to live stats available on the schedule page found on  On Friday, the contest can be seen via a live webcast provided by (fee required).

Player to Watch: Whitney Palmer
The junior was honored by the Big 12 Conference, Soccer America and on Tuesday following her three-goal performance over the weekend.  Her two goals scored against then-No. 13 Texas A&M helped give OU its first program win over the Aggies.  Palmer is tied for third nationally with 10 goals and ranks second in the Big 12.
2009 Season Stats: 11 starts, 10 goals, two assists, 22 points, 44 shots (28 on goal)

Next Weekend
The Sooners conclude the four-game road trip at Iowa State on Oct. 9 (7 p.m.) and at Nebraska on Oct. 11 (1 p.m.).

Last Time Out
Oklahoma split the opening weekend of Big 12 play after suffering a 2-1 decision to Texas on Friday and claiming a 3-2 upset victory over No. 13 Texas A&M on Sunday.  Whitney Palmer scored three of the Sooners' goals on the weekend and Kelsey Kraft tallied the game winner against the Aggies.

More on the Texas A&M Win
The win over then-No.13 Texas A&M was the first for OU in 15 all-time meetings.  It also snapped an 11-game skid for the Sooners against ranked opponents with the last win coming over No. 20 Texas on Sept. 25, 2005 (2-0).  OU was 0-6 against the top 25 in Coach Nelson's first year in 2008.

2009 vs. 2008
In her second season at the helm, Nicole Nelson has already doubled the Sooners' win total from a year ago.  In addition, at this point last season, OU was 1-10 after 11 games compared to the current 6-4-1 record.

Sooners in Big 12 Ranks
While Kelsey Devonshire leads the Big 12 lead with 55 saves and ranks second 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 (10) and points (22) and ranks fourth in shots (44).  Hampton is tied  for third with four assists. Refer to page five for each of the Sooners ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 statistics this week.

Attendance Marks
Thanks to the fans, the Sooners have recorded two top-10 attendance marks in 2009.  On Sept. 25 vs. Texas, the fourth best crowd at the OU Soccer Complex was on hand with 1,150 fans.  On Aug. 28 vs. ORU, the attendance was 814, eighth best all-time.  After eight games, OU is averaging 715 fans at home compared to the 451 average in 2008 (10 games). 

Palmer Records Hat Trick; Moves into Third
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 third 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.  Whitney Palmer  24  2007-present




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