Game 7: Friday, Sept. 17 (6:30 p.m.)
Oklahoma vs. San Diego State
Oklahoma hits the road for the fourth consecutive game this season when it takes on San Diego State in the Sun Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday. The game will mark the second meeting between the schools with the Aztecs winning in 1999 at SDSU (2-0).
Friday’s action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The Aztecs (2-3-1) have been shut out in two of their six games this season and have managed five goals this year, by four different scorers. They recently defeated Southern Utah at home on Monday by a 2-0 score. OU’s contest versus SDSU is the first of the Sun Devil Invitational. The Sooners will play Arizona State on Sunday in the final game. The Sun Devils play Dartmouth on Friday and San Diego State will face Dartmouth on Sunday.
Sophomore Alexis Solovij is the leading scorer for the Aztecs with two goals and one assist. Freshman Jen Klunder is second on the team in points with one goal and an assist. Senior Sophia Perez has started in goal for the Aztecs in all but one game and is 1-2 on the year with a shutout, a 0.72 goals-against average and 23 saves. Junior Gricelda Alvarez started SDSU’s last contest against San Diego and made two saves while giving up four goals.
Weekly Release (PDF) | Big 12 Release (PDF) | 2004 Stats
The Aztecs return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last season’s team that finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference with a 7-10-2 overall mark. SDSU is coached by Michael Giuliano, who is in his first season with the Aztecs. Giuliano had success prior to SDSU, spending 11 years with Westmont College (NAIA) where he won four national championships and 194 games (17.6 per season).
Game 8: Sunday, Sept. 19 (3 p.m.)
Oklahoma at Arizona State
The Sooners will play the final game of the Sun Devil Invitational against host and No. 9 (Soccer Buzz) Arizona State (2-2-0) on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Sunday’s game will be the first regular season meeting for OU and ASU. They did meet in the 2004 spring season with Arizona State winning 2-0, despite OU creating numerous scoring opportunities. The Sun Devils will be OU’s second ranked opponent this season. The Sooners tied then- No. 21 SMU (2-2) on Aug. 29.
ASU returns 18 letterwinners and 10 starters from its 2003 squad that finished second in the Pac-10 with an overall record of 13-5-3. The Sun Devils’ two losses this season have come at the hands of top-five teams. Most recently, ASU lost at home to No. 2 Notre Dame (2-1) after scoring the game’s first goal. The Sun Devils also lost their season opener to then-No. 5 Florida State in Tallahassee (3-2). ASU has defeated BYU on the road (3-2) and Rhode Island in Tallahassee (4-0).
Junior Katie Leahy, a two-time All-American at the Community College of Rhode Island, leads the Sun Devil offense with four goals on the year. Five other Sun Devils have recorded goals, including junior Elizabeth Bogus. Bogus has two tallies and a team-high three assists. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Fitzgerald and sophomore Kim Bingham have each started two games for ASU in goal. Bingham is 0-2 on the season after playing in the Notre Dame and FSU games. She has allowed five goals and recorded six saves. Fitzgerald sports a 0.94 goals-against average in 191-plus minutes of action with eight saves.
Through six games, the Sooners are off to one of their best starts in school history with their 3-1-2 record. The Sooners started the 2002 season with six straight wins and began 2001 with a 5-1 record.
Junior Lauren MacIver led OU in shots in her first two seasons and is off to an aggressive start in 2004. The captain has ripped 33 shots in six games, with two goals scored and 14 shots on goal. She recorded 61 shots as a freshman and 69 last year. With 12 regular season games remaining, she is on pace to record 99 shots. The record for most shots in a single season (80) is held by Jonette Coquat set in 2000.
Freshman Shana All leads the team and the Big 12 with five assists. All but one of All’s five assists have come on perfectly placed corner kicks that found fellow Sooners in the box, three for net-finding headers by freshman Allyson Kucera and another by Michelle Enos. All also hooked up with freshman Tenesha Duncan for a goal on a cross against Tulsa. Lauren MacIver led OU in assists with five in 2003 and the all-time mark for assists in a season was set in 2002 by Krissy Dawson (8).
EARLY SEASON LEADERS
With just six games under their belts, OU’s Lauren MacIver and Shana All lead the Big 12 in a couple categories. MacIver paces the conference with 33 shots, while All is the assists leader with five.
SHOOTOUT ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Three Sooners were named to the 2004 Oklahoma Shootout All-Tournament Team after OU went 1-1 in weekend action.. Freshman defender Lauren Harris, senior defender Erin Young and sophomore midfielder Kady Kelly were all honored for their performances.
FIRST GOAL IS CRUCIAL
The Sooners have scored first in all but one game this season. In that one contest (vs. ORU) OU suffered its first loss of the season, 1-0 in OT. In the other five contests, OU is 3-0-2 when posting the game’s first goal on the board. Freshman Allyson Kucera has three of the initial scores.
FRESHMEN CATCHING ON QUICKLY
The 2004 freshman class gained more valuable experience over the weekend with two road games. Lauren Harris, Allyson Kucera and Shana All have combined for 17 starts this season while three other frosh have seen significant time. Tenesha Duncan has appeared in every game for the Sooners while Jennifer Nichols and Colleen Keester have seen time in four games. As a whole, the freshman class has accounted for 38 percent of OU’s points this season (4 goals, 7 assists).
KUCERA IS KEY
Despite her solid efforts on defense for OU, freshman Allyson Kucera is getting more attention on offense as she leads the team in goals. On three occasions, Kucera has pushed up on offense to contribute scores on Sooner corner kicks. She ranks sixth in the Big 12 in goals (two off the lead) and already holds the record for most goals scored in a season by an OU defender (Sheri Whatley had two tallies in 1996).
CORNERING THE OPPOSITION
After struggling against the opposition in 2003 in the corner kick category, the 2004 Sooners have taken advantage of the set plays from the corners, scoring four goals in six games, three off of headers. The Sooners have produced 26 corner kicks (16 by opponents) compared to 18 a year ago after six games.
After playing in a school-record nine overtime games last season (3-1-5 record), OU is now 0-1-2 in extra-session games in 2004. Dating back to last season, nine of OU’s last 16 games have gone to overtime. In its history, Oklahoma is 6-9-13 in extra time (.446 winning percentage). Under Evans, OU is 5-4-13 in overtime games (.523 winning percentage).
The Sooners have recorded more shots than the opposition in all but two games this season. Arkansas’ 13 shots bested OU’s 12 on Sept. 5 and the Sooners tied Saint Louis with 18 blasts apiece on Aug. 27. OU has 113 shots on the season while its opponents have 75. In 2003, the Sooners recorded 254 shots as a team.
With an assist against TCU, junior Lauren MacIver is in sole possession of fourth place on OU’s career assists list with 10. The top spot is held by three former Sooners (Krissy Dawson, Shannon Wing and Jonette Coquat) with 15 assists. MacIver is also just nine shots behind third place (Shannon Wing-172) on OU’s career shots list and is followed by fellow junior Becky Nelson (117).
SOONERS CONTINUE ON THE ROAD
The Sooners brought home a win in their first road game of the season at Arkansas and are 2-1 overall away from John Crain Field. The road warriors travel to Tempe, Ariz., for two games and return home on Sept. 24 when they open Big 12 play with Missouri. After that, OU will play its next four games in Texas (at Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech).
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.
LAST TIME OUT
Game 5: Sept. 10 vs. ORU
at ORU Soccer Complex (Tulsa, Okla.)
The Sooners were unsuccessful in winning its third straight contest after suffering a hard fought loss at Oral Roberts on Friday, 1-0 in overtime. ORU (5-1-0) won its fifth straight game after suffering a loss in the season opener to Texas Tech (6-2).
The Sooners are now 6-2 lifetime against the Golden Eagles with the last loss coming in the 1997 season, a 2-1 loss in double overtime.
After a scoreless 90 minutes of action, the Sooners forced their third overtime game of 2004 and were 2:53 away from double overtime before ORU’s Moriah Chinnock scored an unassisted goal to put away the Sooners.
The Sooners dominated the shot count with an 18-10 advantage led by juniors Becky Nelson (5) and Lauren MacIver (4). OU had numerous chances to score, one just thirty seconds into the game, but could not connect.
In the Sooners’ first four games, they took advantage of the corner kicks and set plays to score against the opposition with a goal in each contest. The Sooners did manage four corner kicks on Friday night, a season low, but were unable to score against the Golden Eagles.
Senior captain Catherine Wade started the contest for OU and was relieved by freshman Jennifer Nichols at halftime. Wade never had to turn away an ORU shot while Nichols recorded two saves in her 52-plus minutes of action. Nichols’s record falls to 1-1-2.
Game 6: Sept. 12 vs. Tulsa
Hurricane Soccer Stadium (Tulsa, Okla.)
OU rebounded after its first loss of 2004 two days earlier, for a 3-1 victory over the University of Tulsa at Golden Hurricane Stadium on Sunday.
The Sooners struck first with junior Becky Nelson’s second goal in four games on an unassisted blast from 15 yards out at the 21:53 mark.
The Sooners added to their first half lead when freshman Shana All registered her team-leading fifth assist of the season on a cross that fellow freshman Tenesha Duncan headed past Tulsa goalkeeper Pam Devore. The tally, scored in the 35th minute, marked the first of Duncan’s collegiate career.
With the game in hand after 45 minutes of action, the OU offense struck again early in the second half.
Just 5:21 into the second session, the Sooners extended their lead to three goals on sophomore Savannah Scott’s second tally of the season. Scott was all alone, with Tulsa goalkeeper Meredith Hart, after freshman defender Lauren Harris set her up for the score from 10 yards out. The assist was the first of Harris’ collegiate career.
The OU defense only allowed one goal in the contest, when Tulsa got on the board in the 87th minute off a deflection that Katie Nirider knocked in for the score.
The Sooners went 1-1 in the Oklahoma Shootout by defeating Tulsa after dropping an overtime match to Oral Roberts on Friday (1-0). For their play over the weekend, freshman Lauren Harris, senior Erin Young and sophomore Kady Kelly were named to the All-Tournament team.