Oct. 6, 1999
*Oklahoma at Missouri
Friday, Oct. 8, 4 p.m., CDT
*Oklahoma at Kansas
Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m., CDT
OU On the Road Again
Oklahoma hits the road this weekend for games against Big 12 Conference foes Missouri (Friday at 6 p.m.) and Kansas (Sunday at 1 p.m.). The Sooners, 2-8-1 overall and 1-3 in league play, are coming off a 1-1-1 performance last week, despite dominating play in all three games.
This weekends contests will mark the ninth and 10th road matches this season for OU. The team began the 1999 campaign with eight straight road games before finally coming home for three last week.
About the Opponents
Missouri enters weekend action with 8-3 overall and 3-1 conference records and stands in third place in the Big 12. The Tigers, who rank 13th nationally in scoring with 3.09 goals per game, are coming off a 4-1 loss at Texas Tech and a 3-1 victory over Baylor last weekend. Ranked 21st and 22nd in the latest Soccer Buzz and NSCAA top-25 polls, respectively, MU is led by forwards Nikki Thole and Erin Grimsley. Thole ranks seventh in the country in scoring with 2.73 points per game while Grimsley ranks 14th with a 2.50 figure. Thole also ranks fifth in goals per game with 1.18. Head coach Bryan Blitz is in his fourth year at Missouri and owns a 32-38-1 record there. The Tigers are 3-1 this season at Walton Stadium.
Kansas is 6-5 overall and 1-3 inside the conference. The Jayhawks, who have won four of their last five games, have displayed a balanced scoring attack as Melanie Schroeder leads the team with eight points while six others have tallied five or more. Betsy Pollard has spent the majority of time in goal for Kansas and sports a 1.55 goals-against average and a .845 save percentage. In his first year at Kansas is head coach Mark Francis. The Jayhawks, also 3-1 at home this year, play at SuperTarget Field.
The Sooners played their first three home games of the season last week, and despite dominating the action in all three came away with a 1-1-1 record. Oklahoma hosted Oklahoma State on Tuesday and dropped a 1-0 decision. The Cowgirls, who were outshot by OU 16-8, scored the lone goal at the 58:02 mark.
The Sooners rebounded for a 4-2 victory over a Colorado team that entered the game with an 8-3 record. OU outshot the Buffaloes by a 21-10 count and received goals from Heather Martinelli, Jennifer Enos and Jonette Coquat. Oklahoma was also credited with an own-goal early in the second half.
Definitely the most frustrating of the three matches was Sundays 2-2 tie with LSU. The Sooners set school records with 51 shots and 23 shots on goal while the Tigers recorded just nine shots and five on goal. OU also outshot LSU 15-0 in the two overtime periods. The Oklahoma goals were scored by Martinelli and Coquat.
Tough Schedule Paying Off
Head coach Randy Evans strategy of scheduling eight games on the road against tough competition to start the year seems to be paying dividends. Though OU won just one of those first eight games, several of the opponents were ranked among the nations top 25. Now, Evans is pleased with the teams play.
I think our plan has paid off, said the first-year coach. Really, we considered those first eight games as part of the preseason. We focused on style of play and now were really starting to come together. I think thats been evidenced by our play the last three games. Weve controlled the action. Other than the fact we have had trouble finishing on our scoring chances, we are right where I hoped wed be at this point of the season.
After this weekend, Oklahoma plays its next four games at home, all against Big 12 schools. The Sooners host Baylor (Oct. 15), Texas Tech (Oct. 17), Nebraska (Oct. 22) and Iowa State (Oct. 24) before closing the regular season with a non-conference game at Arkansas (Oct. 31).