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2007 Soccer Preview: Goalies and Defense
August 17, 2007

Aug. 17, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma soccer team reported to its first practice on Tuesday, Aug. 14 in preparation for the 2007 season, which begins on Aug. 31 at home against Alabama A&M. The Sooners will also host Oral Roberts that weekend on Sept 2.

Prior to the season opener, SoonerSports.com continues to bring fans a preview of 2007, with the second installment on the Sooners' goalies and defense below.

Stay tuned on Sunday as we take a closer look at the OU midfielders and forwards.

COACH EVANS ON THE GOALKEEPERS
"We are incredibly strong at this position.  Heading into the season, this looks to be the most talented position with two keepers who both should see time in 2007.

"For the first time since 2004, when Jenny (Nichols) was a freshman and Catherine Wade was a senior, we have two starting goalkeepers on our roster who give us a chance to win every game.

"Jenny is a tremendous goalie and when she is playing up to her ability, she is the best at her position in the Big 12.  If she stays consistent, she will be the starter throughout the season.

"Tara (MacDonald) is maturing quickly and after a strong spring season, she is talented enough to fight for a starting spot.

"In addition to having several talented goalies, we added Amanda Martin to our coaching staff in the offseason.  The best thing about having Amanda as an assistant is that she was and still is a tremendous keeper.   She plays and coaches with a great level of intensity and can show our goalies how to improve themselves first hand.  She also has terrific footwork, which, along with her intensity, is what we need to work on most with our goalkeepers."

KEY RETURNER
Jennifer Nichols - One of the most successful goalies in school history with 14 career shutouts. She enters 2007 with 45 starts.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Tara Macdonald - A member of last year's team but redshirted the season.  Macdonald is a very talented and physical keeper.

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COACH EVANS ON THE DEFENSE
"Our defense did a great job of keeping us in games last year and gave us the opportunity to win.  With Lauren (Harris) leading the back line, the defense has automatically improved from last year.  She is a strong player and so valuable that no matter where she plays on the field, that area is a strength for us.

"We also return starters Helen Ajufo and Katie Corbitt.  If Helen can return to the form of her freshman year, when she was one of the top defenders in the Big 12, it will provide our defense with a big boost.

"Katie gives everything she has on the field.  She earned a starting spot again this year with her hard work.  She could also play in the midfield, but her first look will be in the back.

"Newcomers Ashley Bolden , Caitlin Stojkovic and Clarie West will also strengthen the back line."

KEY RETURNER
Lauren Harris - After playing three years in the Sooner midfield, Harris moved to defense in the spring and looks to have solidified another strong OU defense.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH 
Ashley Bolden - A  three-time all-conference selection from Lewisville, Texas, Bolden is expected to bring athleticism to an already talented defense.

 


 

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