Game 14: Friday, Oct. 15 (7 p.m.)
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
Oklahoma (6-4-3 overall, 2-3-0 Big 12) returns home for the first time in five games to host Iowa State (6-7-0 overall, 3-2-0 Big 12) on Friday at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field. It will mark the first time the Cyclones have played in Norman since 2001.
The Sooners will look to extend their two-game winning streak after sweeping Baylor (2-1) and Texas Tech (2-1) last weekend. Sophomore Savannah Scott led the OU offense with a goal in each contest while junior Becky Nelson added a goal and an assist in the victory over Texas Tech. Freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Nichols made her fourth and fifth consecutive starts of the season and improved to 3-3-2 on the year.
Iowa State has won three straight in the Big 12 with victories over Missouri (2-0), Texas Tech (3-0) and Baylor (2-1, 2OT). Junior Amy Flores and freshman Erin Witte lead the Cyclones with eight points each. Flores is the team leader in goals with four while Witte has recorded three tallies. In goal, freshman Jo Haig sports a 1.05 goals-against average with two shutouts. She is 6-6 on the season with 56 saves.
In eight all-time meetings, Iowa State leads the series with OU, 5-1-2. The two battled to a 2-2 tie last year in Ames. OU’s lone victory in the series came during the 1999 season in Norman, 1-0 in overtime. The last five meetings have been played in overtime, including the last four in double overtime.
Gates will open at 6 p.m. at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. The first 500 fans will receive free OU Trucker Hats. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. In addition, various soccer alumni will be honored at halftime of the game as part of the OU Alumni Soccer Weekend. 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.
Game 15: Sunday, Oct. 17 (1 p.m.)
Oklahoma vs. Kansas
The Sooners will play their fourth ranked opponent of the year when they meet No. 6/9 (Soccer Buzz/NSCAA) Kansas (12-2-0 overall, 4-1-0 Big 12) on Sunday at John Crain Field at 1 p.m. The Jayhawks play at Oklahoma State on Friday.
After dropping its Big 12 opener to Nebraska (1-0), Kansas has rattled off four consecutive wins in conference play. In those four contests (against Colorado, Texas Tech, Baylor, Missouri), the Jayhawks have outscored the opposition 13-2. Junior Caroline Smith leads Kansas in points (17), goals (6) and assists (5). Senior goalkeeper Meghan Miller (12-2-0) leads the conference with a 0.36 goals-against average and eight shutouts.
Kansas leads the all-time series 5-3 after taking two away from the Sooners last season. A year ago, the Jayhawks topped OU 3-1 during the regular season and 1-0 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. The last time the teams met in Norman was in 2000, a 4-0 Sooners victory.
Gates will open at noon at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. The first 300 fans will receive free OU soccer trading cards and a post-match autograph session will be held. In addition, those in attendance at Friday’s game will have the opportunity to win a parking pass for the OU football game vs. Kansas on Oct. 23.
Sophomore Savannah Scott is having an impressive sophomore campaign for the Sooners. The Norman native has scored a goal in three consecutive games and has four tallies in the last five contests. Scott leads the team in points (13) and in goals (6). Four goals have come in Big 12 play. Scott also has an assist this season. Last year, Scott recorded four assists and four goals, ranking her second and third, respectively, on the team.
The Sooners have played nine of their last 10 games away from John Crain Field and they recorded a 5-3-1 in those nine. OU is 5-3 in road games and 0-0-1 at neutral sites this season. OU last played at home against Missouri on Sept. 24, but will finish the season with four of its last five at home. Colorado is the one road contest remaining for the Sooners this season (Oct. 22). OU is assured of the program’s first winning record (regular season) on the road this season. Its previous best was in 2000 (4-5).
FIRST HALF IS BEST HALF FOR DEFENSE
In their 13 games this season, the Sooners have only allowed two first-half goals (vs. Baylor and SMU). On the other side of the ball, the OU offense has scored eight of its 20 goals in the first 45 minutes of play.
FIRST GOAL IS CRUCIAL
The Sooners have scored first in all but three games this season. In those three contests, OU tied San Diego State (0-0) and lost 1-0 to Oral Roberts and Texas. In its other 10 contests, OU is 6-2-2 when posting the game’s first goal. Savannah Scott has four of the initial scores and freshman Allyson Kucera has three.
CENTRAL REGION POLLS
After recording two wins last weekend, OU stayed at the No. 8 spot in this week’s NSCAA/adidas Central Region poll. The Sooners made their initial appearance in the top 10 of the Central Region poll three weeks ago at No. 7. OU dropped one spot to No. 12 in this week’s Soccer Buzz Central Region poll. The Sooners have been as high as No. 9 on two occasions this season in the Soccer Buzz poll.
DEFENSE KEEPS IT CLOSE
Eleven of OU’s 13 games this season, the contest have been decided by one goal or none. In the other two contests, the Sooners bested TCU and Tulsa 5-0 and 3-1, respectively. Traditionally, defense has been a trademark for OU under head coach Randy Evans. This season is no different as the OU defense has limited the opposing offense to one goal or none in ten games (three shutouts). Despite the close contests, the Sooners have outscored the opposition 20-13 on the year.
SOONERS AT HOME UNDER EVANS
OU has made John Crain Field a tough road assignment for opponents over the years as it is 36-22-5 (.611) in its eight seasons. The winning percentage is even better under Randy Evans. Now in his sixth year, the Sooners are 28-14-7 (.643) at home under the head coach. The Sept. 24 loss to Missouri was just the Sooners’ fifth loss at home since the start of the 2001 season. Over the past three seasons, OU is 21-5-5 (.758) at John Crain Field.
Junior Becky Nelson has been a solid contributor for OU this season. She scored a goal and added an assist on Sunday in the Sooners’ win over Texas Tech. Nelson is second on the team in every major offensive category. She is tied for second in goals (3) and shots on goal (15) and sits alone in second for points (8), assists (2) and shots (31). Last season, Nelson tied for the team lead in goals (6) and ranked second on the team in points (14).
OU VERSUS THE TOP 25
Oklahoma’s win over then-No. 9 Arizona State on Sept. 19 marked the highest ranked opponent OU has defeated since the 2000 season. On Oct. 15, 2000, in Lincoln, Neb., the Sooners defeated Nebraska, ranked No. 2 in the nation, 2-1. OU is 1-1-1 against the top 25 this year, with a loss against then-No. 9 Texas A&M on Oct. 3 and a tie against then-No. 21 SMU on Aug. 29. Two currently ranked opponents remain on OU’s schedule (Kansas and Nebraska).
After playing in a school-record nine overtime games last season (3-1-5 record), OU is now 1-2-3 in extra-session games in 2004. Dating back to last season, 12 of OU’s last 23 games have gone to overtime. In its history, Oklahoma is 7-10-14 in extra time (.452 winning percentage). Under Randy Evans, OU is 6-5-14 in overtime games (.520 winning percentage).
FRESHMEN CATCHING ON QUICKLY
The 2004 freshman class continues to gain valuable experience with two road victories last weekend. Defender Lauren Harris, defender Allyson Kucera, midfielder Shana All and goalkeeper Jennifer Nichols have combined for 38 starts this season while two other frosh have seen significant time. Forwards Tenesha Duncan and Colleen Keester have appeared in all but four games for the Sooners, each tallying a goal. As a whole, the freshman class has accounted for 31 percent of OU’s points this season (5 goals, 7 assists).
GET TO KNOW THE 2004 SOONERS
During the 2004 season, SoonerSports.com will bring you a weekly segment giving fans a inside look at the players on the OU Soccer team. Each week, a different player will be spotlighted answering questions varying from most embarrassing moments to nicknames and superstitions. Click here to access the main page that currently features senior Samantha Faulkner and freshman Tenesha Duncan.
SAMANTHA FAULKNER 2004 JOURNAL
Senior stopper and team captain Samantha Faulkner takes Sooner fans behind the scenes with her online journal as OU plays its 2004 season.