NORMAN, Okla. -- The OU soccer team (11-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 Big 12) will look to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 regular season title on Friday, Oct. 14 against No. 19 Texas A&M (9-3-1 overall, 3-2-0 Big 12). Friday’s game is slated to start at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field in Norman.
OU enters the contest in a four-way tie for first place with 10 points (Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa State) and A&M is a close second with nine points, tied with Texas and Colorado.
Friday’s game is the 11th all-time meeting between the teams, and the Aggies are undefeated against the Sooners. In last year’s meeting, OU held a 1-0 lead before Texas A&M scored two goals in the final five minutes of the contest. The Aggies are the only team in the Big 12 that OU has not defeated in its ten-year history.
Texas A&M is 1-2 in its last three contests. The Aggies suffered a 2-1 loss at Texas and 1-0 defeat at home against Iowa State on Friday before rebounding with a convincing 4-0 victory over Nebraska in College Station on Sunday. Before the back-to-losses, A&M enjoyed a six-game winning streak in which they knocked off two Big 12 foes, Missouri (2-1) and Kansas (2-1).
Sophomore Melissa Garey (MF/F) is the team’s leading goal scorer with 11 tallies. She is one of four players on the team to register two or more goals this season. Sophomore Ashley Pistorius has collected eight scores to combine with Garey for 20 of the team’s 31 goals (64 percent).
In goal, senior Katie Jo Spisak has made 85 consecutive starts for the Aggies and is a two-time All-American. In 2005, she is 9-3-1 with a 0.69 goals-against average and 30 saves. Spisak is tied with OU’s Jennifer Nichols atop the Big 12 with six shutouts. Seven of her nine goals allowed this season have come in Big 12 play.
Gates will open at 6 p.m. at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. The first 250 fans will receive free OU pom-poms and glow sticks. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more at $3 a ticket. OU students receive free admission with a valid student ID. For more information, contact the OU ticket office at 800-456-GoOU.
OU will conclude the weekend at home against Baylor (3-9-1 overall, 1-4-0 Big 12) on Sunday at 1 p.m. In eight all-time meetings, the series is tied at 3-3-2. Sunday’s game will also mark the final home game for eight Oklahoma seniors who will be honored after the game.
The Bears are coming off their first Big 12 win of the season, a 2-1 decision over Iowa State in Waco, Texas on Sunday. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Bears. In 2005, Baylor has also defeated Northwestern State and Houston, while tying Minnesota.
Senior midfielder Tiffany Boshers, a 2003 All-Big Second Team 12 member, is tied for the team lead this season with 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists). Senior defender Brittani Zonker also has 10 points in 2005, scored on four goals and two assists. In the Baylor goal, sophomore Ashley Holder is 3-9-1 with 93 saves and a 1.79 GAA.
Gates will open at noon at John Crain field and fans will have an opportunity to win an OU soccer ball autographed by the 2006 Sooners.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite suffering a 1-1 tie at Missouri on Friday and a 3-0 defeat on Sunday at Kansas, the OU soccer team (11-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 Big 12) finds itself tied atop the Big 12 standings with 10 points (Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas). Lauren MacIver scored the Sooners’ lone goal over the weekend and was assisted by Kady Kelly.
SOONERS SET TO MAKE FIRST NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCE
For the first time in the program’s history, the Oklahoma soccer team will be seen live on national television as aired on CSTV (College Sports Television). OU will make the appearance when it travels to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers on Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. The game can also be seen in Nebraska on NET Sports. CSTV is available on Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Adelphia and Insight cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610) and DISH Network (Channel 152).
The 2005 Sooners (11-2-1) are off to the best start in school history. The previous best was established by the 2001 and 2002 teams, who both started its respective seasons 6-1. OU has outscored the opposition 29-5 in its 11 wins this season. In addition, the Sooners have never been in first place in the Big 12 this late in the season with a 3-1-1 record (10 points).
WINNING STREAK ENDS
The Sooners were riding a school-record nine-game winning streak before its tie at Missouri on Friday. The ten-game unbeaten streak then ended two days later at the hands of Kansas. The winning streak started in Iowa (9/4), where OU topped the Hawkeyes, 2-0. During the unbeaten streak, OU outscored the opposition 25-5, including five shutouts. This year’s winning streak of nine games broke the mark set by the 2002 team that opened the season with a perfect 6-0 record.
Lauren MacIver became the first Sooner to score a goal in four consecutive games on Friday, Sept. 16 versus Tulsa. Only six other players have scored goals in three consecutive games. MacIver, OU’s all-time leader in assists with 17, has seven helpers this year, tied for second most in a season (Shannon Wing-7, Krissy Dawson-8). She is also third on OU’s career list in points (49) and tied for third on the goals’ list with 16. After 14 regular-season games and with five remaining, MacIver has topped all of her previous season highs as she leads the team with seven assists and 19 points and is tied for team lead in goals with six. Prior to 2005, MacIver enjoyed probably her best year (four goals, four assists) during the 2002 season, where she earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore.
Junior Savannah Scott currently is tied for the team lead with six goals this season and ranks second in points with 14. Scott also led OU in goals scored a season ago, with six tallies. Scott has recorded 11 points in the last seven games. The Norman, Okla., native is tied for third on OU’s all-time goals scored list (16) and she also ranks sixth in all-time points (39).
CENTRAL REGION POLLS
This week’s central region polls have OU ranked No. 6 by the NSCAA/adidas poll and Soccer Buzz magazine. The Sooners were No. 4 in last week’s central region poll as released by Soccer Buzz and NSCAA/adidas.
Eight different Sooners have scored goals this season, including five players with four or more goals. In 2004, ten different players managed to score a goal but only four posted two or more goals.
NICHOLS SHUTTING OUT THE OPPOSITION
HOME SWEET HOME
After playing three of the first four games of the 2005 slate on the road, OU finished its last home stand with a 4-0 mark. OU has outscored the opposition 21-3 at home this season, including an 167-67 advantage in shots. Including this year’s perfect 8-0 mark at home, the Sooners are 45-25-7 (.630) lifetime in Norman.
ASSISTS ALL AROUND
After 14 regular season games, the Sooners have recorded 35 assists (2.5 per game). That total is more than double the 17 assists recorded in 18 games all of last season by OU. The total also ties the most assists recorded in a season by an OU team (1998). In addition, 14 different Sooners have contributed assists this season and six players have recorded three or more assists.
In 2004, then-freshmen Lauren Harris (assist) and Tenesha Duncan (goal and assist), each regulars on the field, combined for four points. In 2005 after 14 games, the two have combined for 21 points. Duncan is tied for third on the team in points (11) and tied for third in goals (4). Harris’ 10 points are good for fourth best on the team and she is tied for second on the team in assists (4) and fourth in goals (3).
OU’s offensive outburst in the first half against Oral Roberts (9/28) marked the fifth time in school history that an OU team had tallied four scores in a half (last was Sept. 27, 2002 vs. Baylor in Norman).
OU has outshot the competition by a significant margin after 14 games (258-158). The Sooners have only trailed in the shot column in five games this season (Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas). Against East Carolina (9/11), OU recorded the fourth highest shot total (34) in program history. It was the most shots fired by an OU team since the 2001 team tallied 36 against Drury. The school record for shots in a game is 51, recorded against Louisiana State (1999). OU also had 40 shots against Drury in 1997. On the other side of the field, the OU defense limited Texas State (9/23) to three shots, the fewest by an OU opponent since Drury fired two against the Sooners on Sept. 7, 2001. OU also held Oral Roberts to two shots in the previous game that same season.
EVANS VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
With a 3-0 victory over Texas State, OU has posted its best non-conference record (8-1, .889 winning percentage) in program history. The previous best was set by the 2001 team that went 7-1 (.875). 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 seventh season at OU, is 38-16-5 (.686) against non-conference opponents.
KUCERA IS KEY
Sophomore midfielder Allyson Kucera continues to make things happen when she is on the field. She is second on the team in goals with five and tied for this in points with 11. She recorded her first career assist last against Texas State (9/23). After 31 career games at OU, Kucera already has nine goals (tied for 9th in OU history). The Pearland, Texas, native scored two goals in the Sooners win over Arkansas, a single-game high. Kucera’s first goal against Arkansas marked the second game-winning goal in her collegiate career.
Two freshmen, Katie Corbitt and Helen Ajufo, have combined for 24 starts this season for OU. Ajufo has started every contest and Corbitt has missed just two starts. In addition, Traci Dickenson has seen time in all but three contests. Corbitt, a midfielder, scored her first career goal, a game winner, against Saint Louis in overtime in the season opener and recorded her first career assist against Western Michigan (9/9). Ajufo and Dickenson have both seen action on defense, primarily in the left back position.
2005 OU BIG 12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Jennifer Nichols - Defensive - 8/30
Lauren MacIver - Offensive - 9/20
Savannah Scott - Offensive - 9/27
1 - Jennifer Nichols - Sophomore goalkeeper recorded her first career shutout against Arkansas on Aug. 28 and earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week ending Aug. 28. The Tulsa, Okla., native is 11-2-1 with 49 saves and a 0.75 goals-against average (third lowest in the Big 12). She has played every minute in goal this year and leads the Big 12 with six shutouts.
2 - Jenny Jones - Senior defender recorded two assists in 4-1 win over Western Michigan (9/9). The Denton, Texas, native has started every game for OU this season.
3 - Helen Ajufo - Freshman defender has started every game for OU this season. The Southlake, Texas, native is one of two freshman (Katie Corbitt) to play in every game this season.
4 - Kristin Vesely - Senior forward has seen action in all 14 games. Recorded first and only assist of 2005 against Texas State (9/23).
5 - Lauren MacIver - Senior captain has tallied a point in all but four games this season. She became the first Sooner in program history to score a goal in four consecutive games with a goal against Tulsa (9/16). She is tied for the team lead in goals (6) and leads all Sooners in assists (7), points (19), shots taken (73) and shots on goal (28).
6 - Becky Nelson - Senior forward will miss the 2005 season, recovering from an ACL tear suffered in the 2004 Bedlam game.
7 - Andrea Hurley - Junior midfielder recorded her fourth assist of the season against Colorado (10/2). Assisted on both of OU’s goals in the overtime win over Saint Louis on Aug. 26. Has started all but one game for OU this season and is tied for second on the team in assists (4).
8 - Christy Kenkel - Senior captain will miss the 2005 season after suffering a torn ACL in this year’s fall practice.
9 - Savannah Scott - Junior forward scored her first goal of the year in 3-0 victory over Arkansas. Has scored a goal in four of the last seven games. She is tied for the team lead in goals this season with six. Her 16 career goals ranks third in OU history.
10 - Kady Kelly - Junior midfielder has started every game this season with four assists (did not record an assist before the 2005 season). Scored the game-winning goal in the Sooners’ exhibition win over Purdue.
12 - Lauren Harris - Sophomore midfielder is tied for second on the team in assists with four and tied for fourth in goals with three. Scored first career goal in OU’s 2-1 overtime victory against Saint Louis (8/26). The Tulsa, Okla., native has missed only two starts for OU this season.
14 - Jayme Seetin - Sophomore midfielder has seen time in every game and tallied first career assist against then-No. 21 Texas. She has recorded four shots this season.
15 - Christie Smeal - Junior newcomer played in first game at OU against Arkansas (8/28). Has played in five games this season.
16 - Tenesha Duncan - Sophomore forward is tied for third on the team in goals (4) and tied for third in points (11). Scored first goal of 2005 against East Carolina (9/11). Recorded first point of the season on an assist against Iowa (9/4).
18 - Allyson Kucera - Sophomore midfielder is tied for second on the team in goals (5). Scored two goals against Arkansas (8/28). Her nine career goals is tied for ninth in OU history.
19 - Colleen Keester - Sophomore midfielder has seen time in every game and recorded first career assist against Oral Roberts (9/18).
20 - Katie Corbitt - Freshman midfielder has seen time in all 14 games, starting 12. Scored the game winner (first career goal) at Saint Louis (8/26) with 25 seconds remaining in overtime. Recorded first assist in an OU uniform against Western Michigan (9/9).
21 - Savannah Campbell - Freshman midfielder made first appearance as a Sooner against Arkansas on Aug. 28. Also appeared against Western Michigan (9/9) and Texas (9/25).
22 - Tally Ward - Freshman defender saw first action of the season at Kansas on Oct. 9 after rehabilitating an injured knee for most of the season. Recorded two shots.
29 - Katherine Hergenrether - Junior midfielder saw first action of the season against Tulsa (9/16) and also logged minutes against Texas (9/25).
32 - Ashley King - Sophomore who redshirted her first season and did not see time in 2004. Made first career appearance as a Sooner against Arkansas on Aug. 28. Also saw time against Western Michigan (9/9), Tulsa (9/16) and Texas (9/25). Twin sister Lauren also plays for OU.
33 - Lauren King - Sophomore scored first career goal against Oral Roberts (9/18). Has seen time in all but three games this season. Redshirted her freshman season. Twin sister Ashley also plays for OU.
37 - Lindsey Pulat - Senior goalkeeper has not seen action this season.
44 - Traci Dickenson - Freshman defender has seen time in all but three games this season.
88 - Hollee Fink - Senior goalkeeper has not seen action this season.