Oct. 8, 2010
The game was the first in the series between OU (7-5-1) and Francis Marion (3-11-1).
Palmer, who’s led the team in scoring each of the past three seasons, netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season and the 34th of her career in the 21st minute of Friday’s game. The goal tied Logan Womack (2000-2003) for the Sooner record and came in Palmer’s 70th career game, three ahead of the pace set by Womack back in 2003.
“It feels really good, I am really excited,” said Palmer. “I haven’t really thought about it, or anything like that, but just knowing that I accomplished that goal here is real exciting.”
Palmer now owns six career or single-season records and is two behind Womack for the career points lead at 75.
“Whitney has a done a tremendous job developing herself as a player,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “Really, in the last two years, she has focused on her weaknesses, and continued to improve her strengths, and really developed herself on and off the field. I couldn’t be more proud, and at the same time I know her season is nowhere near over. Whitney has just found her rhythm because of that LCL (lateral collateral ligament) as she was out till mid-August.”
Oklahoma led 4-0 at the half and scored four more goals in the second half as seven different Sooners found the back of the net, including two goals by junior Michelle Alexander, who entered the game without a goal in 2010. Overall, a season-high 25 players saw action on Friday night.
Besides Alexander, five Sooners had three points as Palmer, Bailey Boulware, Dria Hampton, Samantha Howell and Caitlin Mooney all had a goal and an assist in the contest.
“It was great that we were able to play a lot of players and see some contributions from a number of players,” added Nelson.
The last time OU scored eight goals was the first game of Nelson’s tenure, an 8-0 win over Alabama A&M in the 2007 season opener. The Sooners also tallied eight scores during the 1997 campaign in an 8-1 win over Drury.
“I am proud of the way they executed,” said Nelson. “I think a lot of times, once you go up by a couple of goals, there’s a tendency to not be as sharp, and not play the same speed as you do when you are down or the score is equal. I was happy that they were able to really keep the speed of play and keep creating opportunities.”
OU has scored 16 goals in the last four games after starting the season with 10 scores in the first eight contests. Eleven different Sooners have scored in 2010, including six newcomers (five freshmen)
Howell, who gave OU a 1-0 lead at the 13:57 mark, was one of four newcomers to score on Friday night. Mooney, a transfer from Maryland, also scored along with Boulware and Annalisa Hall, both freshmen.
The Sooners fired a season-high 29 shots to Francis Marion’s four and 15 of OU’s shots were on goal, also a season high.
On Sunday, Oct. 10, OU returns to Big 12 play at Kansas (5-8, 1-4 Big 12) for a 1 p.m. contest at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Kansas dropped a 2-0 decision at home on Friday night to No. 7 Oklahoma State. In 2009, the Jayhawks won a 2-1 decision in Norman to up its all-time series to 9-4-1, including a 5-2 advantage in Lawrence, Kan.