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Soccer Faces North Texas and Rice
September 04, 2008
 OU Soccer (1-2) at North Texas (2-0), vs. Rice (2-0)
 Date  Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. | Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m.
 Location  Mean Green Soccer Stadium  |  John Crain Field
 Internet  Sunday: Live Stats
 Promotions  Sunday: Kids eat Free
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF) | 2008 Media Guide

NORMAN, Okla.-- Fresh off a 2-1 comeback victory over Ball State on Aug. 31, the OU soccer team will travel to Denton, Texas on Friday for a 7 p.m. showdown with North Texas (2-0) at the Mean Green Village Soccer Stadium.

Following the road contest, the Sooners return home on Sunday, Sept. 7, to host Rice (2-0) at 1 p.m.  for the first meeting between the two programs.

Sunday’s game will be followed by an autograph session at the OU Soccer Complex and kids also eat free with a coupon for the concession stand.  Inflatable games will also be available for children prior to the game.

FOLLOW THE SOONERS ON THE INTERNET
Fans can follow the action live from Norman on Sunday with live stats available for free on SoonerSports.com.

ABOUT THE MEAN GREEN
North Texas was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference and is off to a 2-0 start.  The Mean Green opened the season with a pair of home wins over Louisiana Tech and Xavier with scores of 2-1 and 1-0, respectively.

Fourteen letterwinners and nine starters return for the Mean Green from a 2007 squad that finished 15-8 overall and fourth in the conference with a 7-4 mark. 

North Texas is led by preseason conference player of the year Kendall Juett.  The junior midfielder scored a goal and an assist last weekend and is coming off a season that was highlighted by eight goals and 12 assists. 

The Mean Green lead the all-time series 3-1 after the Sooners snapped a three-game skid in Norman last season with a 1-0 victory.  North Texas outscored OU 6-1 in the previous three meetings.

ABOUT THE OWLS
Rice started the season on Aug. 22 with a 2-0 win over Sam Houston State at home and followed the performance with a convincing 5-1 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Aug. 24.  The Owls were idle last weekend and will play at Oklahoma State on Friday before coming to Norman.

Rice was picked to finish fourth in Conference USA and is led by sophomore midfielder Kate Edwards, who scored a team-leading 10 goals last season and was a unanimous selection to the C-USA All-Freshman team.  Edwards was held scoreless in the opening weekend and junior forward Anne Candee is the 2008 leader with three goals.

The Owls return 18 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2007 team that was 12-7-2 overall and 5-3-1 in conference play (T-4th).

NEXT WEEKEND
OU hits the road to play at Memphis (1-0-1) on Sept. 12 and at Mississippi (0-1-2) on Sept. 14. 

LAST TIME OUT
Despite taking an early 1-0 lead on Whitney Palmer’s first goal of the season, the Sooners’ halftime advantage was spoiled by visiting Central Michigan in a 3-1 defeat in the home opener on Aug. 29. 

OU bounced back two days later as it reversed its fortune on from the previous defeat and rallied with a pair of second half goals against Ball State.  The Cardinals struck first and held a 1-0 halftime lead.  Sophomore Whitney Palmer tied the game for Oklahoma nine minutes into the second half and freshman Jordan White scored the game winner in the 82nd minute.

SOONERS TOP CARDINALS IN SHOTS AND GOALS
The Sooners’ first victory of the season also came during their first game where they finished with the advantage in shots.  OU outshot Ball State, 15-11, and has won its last six games when leading the opposition in shots.  The Sooners were 5-0 last season in that category.

HOME AND AWAY
The Sooners opened the 2008 season on the road and seven of their first 12 games are played away from the friendly confines of John Crain Field.  In contrast, the Sooners will play five of the final seven games of the regular season at home.

NELSON RECORDS FIRST WIN
Nicole Nelson became the fastest head coach to record her first win at the helm of the Sooner program on Aug. 31.  Nelson accomplished the feat in her third game, a 2-1 win against Ball State, topping the previous mark held by Randy Evans (fourth game). 
 
PALMER AMONG CAREER LEADERS IN GWG
Entering the 2008 season, sophomore forward Whitney Palmer is tied for fifth all-time with four career game-winning goals.  Palmer’s four game winners scored in 2007 ranks in a tie for third in a single season.

CORBITT AND ALLISON VOTED TEAM CAPTAINS
Senior Katie Corbitt and sophomore Kelsey Allison were voted as the 2008 captains by their teammates and the coaching staff last week.  Corbitt entered the season with more starts and games played than any other Sooner on the current roster and has made 36 consecutive starts for OU.  Allison played in all but one game as a freshman in 2007 and made 13 starts.  Allison was part of the talented group of newcomers that combined to score nine goals last season.

NEW COACHING STAFF BRINGS BIG 12 EXPERIENCE
First year head coach Nicole Nelson and assistant coach Kara Lowery bring to Norman six years of combined experience coaching in the Big 12 Conference.  Coach Nelson was an assistant at Texas the last two seasons where the Longhorns won back-to-back Big 12 Tournament Championships and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.  Nelson spent the 2005 season as a member of the Baylor coaching staff.  Lowery comes from Lawrence, Kan., where she helped lead the Jayhawks into the top five of the Big 12 standings for three seasons as an assistant.  Despite not having experience in the conference, assistant coach Graeme Abel helped Nevada the past three seasons set a program record for wins and advance to the Wolfpack’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.

YOUTHFUL SOONERS
Only five upper classmen can be found on this year’s roster as three seniors (Katie Corbitt, Traci Dickenson and Helen Ajufo) and two juniors (Ashley Farrand and Kate Marr) will look to lead a young squad.  Despite the lack of juniors and seniors, OU returns 14 sophomores, five of which saw significant playing time in 2007 and scored 22 of the team’s 30 goals.

WEBCAST SCHEDULE
Oklahoma All-Access, SoonerSports.com’s premium site, will provide a live webcast for every Friday home game throughout the 2008 season.  Additional games may be added to the broadcast schedule at a future date.  In addition, live stats are available for all Sooner Soccer games this season.

NEW IN 2008
A talented recruiting class joins the Sooners in 2008, including two Division I transfers Lisa Jett (UCLA) and Sage Coralli (Pepperdine).  The remaining freshman class is made up of Michelle Alexander, Danielle Digeralamo, Abbey Golliher, Kelsey Kraft, Jordan King and Jordan White.

2008 BIG 12 PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Texas was picked to win the 2008 Big 12 soccer championship in a preseason vote of league head coaches.  The Sooners were tabbed ninth after finishing in that same spot a year ago.

The Longhorns received five of 11 first place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players) and totaled 94 points. Texas A&M, chosen second, received four first-place votes and 93 points, while Missouri came in third with 77 points and two first-place votes.

The Preseason All-Big 12 Team included seven All-Big 12 First Team selections from 2007. Those returnees include goalkeeper Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M); defenders Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Kasey Moore (Texas) and Michelle Wenino (Colorado); midfielder Yolanda Odenyo (Oklahoma State) and forwards Kristin Andrighetto (Missouri) and Nikki Marshall (Colorado). Moore was the 2007 Big 12 Defender of the Year.

1. Texas (5) 94
2. Texas A&M (4) 93
3. Missouri (2) 77
4. Oklahoma State 71
5. Colorado 66
6. Kansas 60
7.  Texas Tech 48
8. Nebraska 33
9. Oklahoma 29
10. Iowa State 18
11. Baylor 14

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