Aug. 22, 1999

Norman, Okla. - The OU women's soccer team opened the season on Sunday with an exhibition loss to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 1-0. The Sooners, who have been hurt by injuries this pre-season, were limited with a number of starters sitting out.

"We had seven starters sitting on the bench due to injury," said first-year Sooner head coach Randy Evans. "We have 26 girls on roster and by the end of the game we were using 12. Some of them probably could have played, but we didn't want to take the risk in an exhibition. I thought that we got a real gutty performance out of Natalie Hixson."

The OU coaches had a hard time gaining a lot from the scrimmage, but they did get a chance to evaluate some backup players.

"This game was hard to evaluate," said Evans. "It was a great opportunity to observe our depth situation. It gives our reserves a chance to be game tested. They will be more ready when called upon during the regular season."

OU was led by sophomore Kate Rusley. The midfielder had seven total shots, her final two on goal.

"We are a young team, but we are coming together real well," said Rusley. "I have a lot of expectations for this team."

The lone goal of the game was scored by Kelly Noonan on a header. She was assisted by Julie Davidson.

The Sooners' first regular season game will be against Texas, Friday, Aug. 27, in Austin.