OU Hosts Baylor Thursday at 7 p.m.

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 03, 2007

Oct. 3, 2007

>> Week 6 Game Notes (PDF)

NORMAN, Okla. -- The OU soccer team (4-4-2 overall, 0-2 Big 12) will look to snap its two-game losing streak this week as it returns to the friendly confines of John Crain Field to host Baylor (6-3-2, 0-1-1) and No. 6 Texas A&M (7-2-1, 1-1). 

The Sooners and Bears are slated for a 7 p.m. start on Thursday, Oct. 4. 

On Sunday, Oct. 7, the Sooners will face the Aggies at 1 p.m.

Tickets are available this week through the OU Ticket Office online at SoonerSports.com or by calling 800-456-4668.  Thursday's game marks $.50 hot dog and coke night and the first 250 fans will receive a free OU rally towel.  On   Sunday,  free team photos will be available for a post-game autograph session.

Live stats will be available for both games this week on SoonerSports.com and a live web cast of Thursday's game will be available on Oklahoma All-Access (paid site).

Oklahoma (4-4-2, 0-2 Big 12) vs. Baylor (6-3-2, 0-1-1 Big 12)
Thursday, Oct. 4 - 7 p.m.
Norman, Okla. - John Crain Field

Baylor opened Big 12 play at home last weekend and came away with a 0-1-1 mark.  On Friday, the Bears tied visiting Kansas, 2-2, and then suffered its first home loss of the season against Missouri, 4-2, on Sunday.  BU is 2-2-1 on the road in 2007.

The Bears are outscoring their opponents, 28-17, and are led by senior Megan Sherrell, who leads the team with six goals and seven assists.  Sherrell leads the Big 12 conference with seven assists and her 19 points are tied for third.

The Bears return 22 letterwinners and 10 starters from a 2006 squad that finished 6-12-1 overall and eighth in the Big 12 with a 3-7-0 mark.  Baylor was picked to finish ninth in 2007 by the league's coaches in the preseason poll. 

The series between OU and BU is tied at 4-4-2.  The home team has won each of the last two games with the Bears winning the 2006 meeting in Waco, 2-1, and the Sooners claiming victory in the 2005 meeting in Norman, 1-0.

Oklahoma (4-4-2, 0-2 Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (7-2-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Sunday, Oct. 7 - 1 p.m.
Norman, Okla. - John Crain Field

The then-No. 3 Aggies suffered a 3-2 loss in double overtime at then-No. 16 Missouri in Friday's Big 12 opener.  Texas A&M bounced back on Sunday with a 5-1 win over Kansas in College Station.  The Aggies are 2-2-1 away from home in 2007.

Texas A&M is outscoring its opponents, 28-8, and is led by senior forward Ashlee Pistorius.    The three-time All-American leads the Big 12 with 12 goals and 26 points.

The Aggies return 15 letterwinners  and 11 starters from last year's team that finished first in the Big 12 with a 17-6-1 overall record and a 9-1 mark in conference play.  In the preseason, Texas A&M was picked to win the conference.

Texas A&M has dominated the series with the Sooners by winning all 12 meetings.  The Aggies won last year's contest in College Station, 6-1, and also controlled the last game played in Norman with a 6-2 victory.

SoonerSports.com sat down with head coach Randy Evans on Tuesday to discuss this week's opponents.  Below is a transcript from Tuesday afternoon:

Evans on Baylor
"Baylor traditionally is an energetic team and a very tough team to beat.  They bring a lot of energy and its going to be a physical game.  Our ability to match that energy and that physical play will be key to our result."

On having an extra day off between games
"To have them at home is a great opportunity for us esp. since we look as healthy as we have been in weeks, so we look to regain our form.

"Our sport is not designed to play two games in three days.  Its designed to play one game a week and having an extra day between games should be great for us, esp. with how injured we are right now." 

On playing No. 10 Texas A&M
"That's why people choose to play in the Big 12, to have the opportunity to play against teams like Texas A&M."

On making adjustments to the team's recent struggles
"The most obvious answer is to get our best forwards back healthy and on the field. While we are waiting for that to happen, we are just going to change what we are doing. The system we are playing in was designed for the people who aren't on the field.  So we are going to shift some things around.  We defintely need to secure the defense in the midfield and give our attacking players more opporuntities.

"Just like any other sport, the best defense is a good offense and we are putting too much pressure on our defense to perform by not having a better output on the offensive end."

The Sooners opened Big 12 play with a pair of losses on the road last weekend.  OU lost at Nebraska, 1-0, on Friday and then suffered a 2-0 defeat on Sunday at Iowa State.

OU will travel next weekend for its second-to-last road trip of the 2007 regular season.  The Sooners will play at No. 14 Missouri on Friday, Oct. 12 and at Kansas on Sunday, Oct. 14.  Following next weekend's action, the only road game remaining on the Sooners' schedule is slated for Nov. 1 at No. 22 Oklahoma State.

After the first week of Big 12 play, Oklahoma sits 11th in the standings with an 0-2 mark.  OU's 16 goals ranks sixth in the conference and its 12 assists and 44 points both rank seventh.  Defensively, OU ranks second in saves (56), fifth in goals allowed (9),  sixth in shutouts (4) and seventh in goals-against average (0.85).

Despite dropping two games over the weekend,  OU is ranked No. 15 this week in the central region poll by Soccer Buzz.  The Sooners are not ranked in the NSCAA/adidas poll this week. Refer to page five for this week's complete listings in both polls for the central region and top 25.

OU has not lost at home in eight straight contests (7-0-1) dating back to Sept. 24, 2006, when it suffered a 1-0 loss to Kansas.  In that eight-game span, OU has outscored its opponents 26-3, including a 13-1 advantage this season.  The eight-game unbeaten streak is tied for second all-time at Oklahoma behind a 9-0 span set between Oct. 24, 2004 and Oct. 2, 2005).  The Sooners were also unbeaten in two, eight-game streaks from Nov. 2, 2001 to Oct. 11, 2002 (7-0-1) and from Sept. 10, 2000 through Oct. 19, 2001 (8-0). 

OU will play six of its remaining nine games on the regular season schedule at John Crain Field.  Under head coach Randy Evans, the Sooners are 48-21-6 (.680) at home.

Four of OU's last nine regular season games will come against teams ranked in this week's top 25 polls, including two top 10 opponents in No. 3 Texas and No. 6 Texas A&M.  OU will face both top ten opponents at home (Oct. 7 vs. Texas A&M and Oct. 28 vs. Texas) and the remaining top 25 foes on the road (Oct. 12 at No. 14 Missouri and Nov. 1 at No. 22 Oklahoma State).  * rankings from NSCAA/adidas poll.

The Sooners are 0-1-2 in overtime games this season, having faced extra time in three of the last seven contests.  The total already surpasses the amount of overtime games OU played last season (1).    Of the 211 games in OU history, OU has played 39 of them in overtime with a 10-16-13 record.  In the Randy Evans' era, OU is 9-11-13 in overtime, including a 4-2-4 mark in the last 10 OT games.

In her first season in Norman, freshman forward Whitney Palmer is already making her mark in the OU record books.  After scoring the decisive goal against William and Mary, Palmer was honored by the conference as the Big 12's Newcomer of the Week on Sept. 11, a career first.  Palmer's four game-winning goals is tied for the Big 12 lead this season and is the third best mark for a Sooner in a single season. She also is tied for fifth on OU's career list in the same category.  In addition, only three other freshmen in OU history have scored more goals than Palmer's team-leading five this season (Logan Womack - 7 in 2000, Jonette Coquat - 7 in 1998 and Heather Morrison - 8 in 1997).  Palmer ranks eighth in the Big 12 in goals scored and tenth in points (10).

Redshirt freshman Tara Macdonald made her first career start in the Sooners' 1-0 win on Sept. 21 and recorded the shutout.  She is the first OU goalie in school history to record a shutout in her first career start.  Two days later, the Austin, Texas, native followed that performance by keeping Middle Tennessee scoreless for 110 minutes for her second career shutout.  Macdonald has allowed three goals in her five games played for a 0.64 goals-against average.

 In his ninth year at OU, head coach Randy Evans is 47-22-7 (.664) against non-conference opponents. The Sooners finished 2006 with a 5-4 mark against teams outside of the Big 12.  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 was during the 1999 season, Evans' first year.

Oklahoma opened up the season with an 8-0 win over Alabama A&M and a 4-1 win over Oral Roberts. Under head coach Randy Evans, the Sooners are 32-0-1 when scoring three or more goals.  The lone tie in that span came against Texas on Oct. 6, 2006 in Austin.  The Sooners eclipsed the three-goal mark on two occasions this season (3 in 2006).

Freshmen Lauren Alkek and Whitney Palmer were selected to U.S. National Select Women's Team (Under-23) as announced by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) on July 9.   The two Sooners were part of a group of 32 members vying for spots on the national team.

The Sooners return eight starters and 14 letterwinners from the 2006 squad that finished the year at 8-11-1.  In addition, four players return with three years of starting experience in Shana All, Lauren Harris, Allyson Kucera and Jenny Nichols.  Kucera has started the most games (57) than any other Sooner on the roster prior to the 2007 season.

The OU Athletics Department completed Phase II of the OU Soccer Complex, a $4.5 million renovation last season.   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.

Video Click here to take a tour of the facility with head coach Randy Evans.

A live web cast will provided for select games this season and will be available on Oklahoma All-Access, SoonerSports.com's paid site.  Lives stats will also be available for free for all of OU's home games and a portion of the road contests.  Both links can be accessed on soccer's schedule page. The All-Access purchase helps support OU Athletics and memberships are available monthly for $9.95 or annually for $99.95.  Below is a look at the remaining schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 4 
Baylor - 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 19 
Texas Tech - 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26 
Colorado - 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 28 
Texas - 1 p.m.

0 - Tara Macdonald - Started last four games in goal ... Redshirt freshman shut out North Texas in first career start and blanked Middle Tennessee in second start ... Allowed first goal against Nebraska on Sept. 28 after holding the opposition scoreless for 249 consecutive minutes this season ... Allowed three goals in five games for a 0.64 GAA ... Made first career appearance during the season opener and combined with Jenny Nichols for the first shutout of the season.

1 - Jenny Nichols - Started season opener at goalkeeper ... Recorded her 15th career shutout against VCU ... Combined with Tara Macdonald for the first shutout of the season vs. Alabama A&M ... Recorded season-high eight saves against VCU and Long Beach State ... Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 11, 2007 (third of career) ...  Second all-time at OU with 15 career shutouts.

2 - Ashley Farrand - Started all 10 games of the 2007 season ... Made the most starts (13) than any other freshman last season ... Ranked fourth on the club with three assists in 2006.

3 - Helen Ajufo - Made first appearance of the season against North Texas ...  Also saw time vs. Middle Tennessee, Nebraska and Iowa State this season.

4 - Ashley Bolden - Freshman defender ... One of three freshmen to start the first 10 games of the season.

5 - Tiana Dickson - Scored first goal of career against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31 ... One of three freshmen to start the first eight games of the season ... Sister of former OU softball All-American Norelle Dickson.

6 - Lauren Alkek - Named to the U-23 U.S. National Select Team in July ... Started first two games of the season ...  Missed six games with right knee sprain and returned for the start of Big 12 against Nebraska and Iowa State.

7 - Audri Habibi - 10 games played, three starts ... One of two Sooners to score two goals in a game this season (Alabama A&M) ... Recorded five points (two goals and an assist) against Alabama A&M  ... Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Oct. 10, 2006.

8 - Whitney Palmer - Tied for the Big 12 lead with four game-winning goals ... Leads the team with five goals and ranks eighth in the Big 12 ... Scored first goal of career against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31 ... One of two Sooners to score two goals in a game this season (Oral Roberts) ... One of three freshmen to start the first 10 games of the season ... Named to the U-23 U.S. National Select Team in July.

9 - Kelsey Allison - Freshman forward has started nine games ... Scored first goal of career against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31.

11 - Shana All - Started every game of the 2007 season ... Leads OU with three assists in 2007 along with Colleen Keester ... Three-year starter who ranks fifth in OU history with 13 assists and fifth with four game-winning goals.
12 - Lauren Harris - Senior captain ... Started every game of the 2007 season and assisted on first goal of the year against Alabama A&M ... Three-year starter with 64 career starts ... 10 career assists ranks sixth in OU history ... Moved to defense in the spring after playing in the midfield the previous three years.

13 - Caitlin Stojkovic - Scored first goal of career against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31 ...  Made first start against William & Mary and has played in every game ... Redshirted her freshman season at South Carolina.

14 - Kate Leyendecker - Played in eight games ... Tied for third on the team with five points and two goals ... Scored a goal off the bench in each of the first two games ... Recorded first career assist against Alabama A&M.

16 - Tenesha Duncan - Second on the team with three goals scored ... Has come off the bench in every game ... Senior's 10 career goals ranks is tied for eighth place all-time at OU  ...  Played in 53 career games (17 starts) but limited in 2006 and 2004 with injuries (knee and concussion).

17 - Kate Marr - Came off the bench in season opener ... Made two starts and played in 16 games in 2006.
18 - Allyson Kucera - Started every game of the 2007 season ... Senior captain ... Three-year starter who leads the current roster with 67 career starts and 10 career goals with Tenesha Duncan, total tied for eighth in OU history.

19 - Colleen Keester - Started first game of 2007 against Nebraska ... Second on the team with two assists ... Recorded the 12th two-assist game in program history in season opener, tying a school record ... Senior has seen time in every game this season and has 64 career games played.

20 - Charla Baker - Sophomore scored first career goal against Alabama A&M and saw time vs. Middle Tennessee.

21 - Brianne Frost - Freshman with six games played off the bench in 2007.

22 - Claire West - Freshman defender came off the bench against Alabama A&M, VCU and Middle Tennessee.

24 - Katie Corbitt - Started every game in 2007 ... Two-year starter on defense with 47 games played and 36 starts.

25 - Ashley Mumma - Freshman defender made first career start against North Texas on defense and made every start since (three games) ... Came off the bench against Alabama A&M, VCU and Cal State Fullerton.

26 - Ashlee Coleman - Redshirt freshman made first appearance in season opener.

44 - Traci Dickenson - Junior played in season opener against Alabama A&M and against Middle Tennessee, Nebraska and Iowa State ... All-Region and All-Big 12 honoree at second base for OU softball in 2007.



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