Soccer Faces Tough Road Weekend

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
 OU Soccer (1-4) at Memphis (2-1-1) and at Mississippi (1-2-2)
 Dates  Friday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. | Sunday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m.
 Game 6  Memphis, Tenn.  |  Mike Rose Soccer Complex
 Game 7  Oxford, Miss.  |  Ole Miss Soccer Stadium
 Internet  Friday: Live Stats & Webcast  |  Sunday: Live Stats & Webcast
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF) | 2008 Media Guide

NORMAN, Okla.-- The Sooners face one of the toughest portions of the non-conference schedule this weekend as they prepare for a pair of road games at Memphis (2-1-1) and Mississippi (1-2-2) on Friday and Sunday, respectively. 

On Friday, Sept. 12, the Sooners and Tigers are set to tangle at 7 p.m. at Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis, Tenn.

The road trip concludes on Sunday, Sept. 14 as OU and Mississippi face off for the first time in the series.  Game time at Ole Miss Soccer Stadium in Oxford, Miss., is set for 1 p.m.

Fans can follow the action live on Friday and Sunday with free live stats and a web cast that is available via a paid subscription.  Links from each opponent's respective web site can be found in the information box above.

Memphis is coming off the program's most successful season in 2007 after claiming a Conference USA Championship and making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

Twenty-one letterwinners and seven starters return from the Tigers' squad that posted a program-best 17 wins.  Memphis was picked by the league's coaches to repeat as conference champions in 2008. 

Senior forward Kylie Hayes, a preseason all-conference pick, is Memphis' leader in career goals with 38.  Hayes is one of five Tigers to tally a goal this season.  The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday in a 3-0 shutout at home against the Miami Hurricanes.  Memphis previously defeated Ole Miss, 2-1, tied Alabama, 1-1, and topped Arkansas Little Rock, 2-0.

OU and Memphis have met on one other occasion, a game played almost 10 years ago to the date, which resulted in a 4-0 Sooner victory on Sept. 11, 1998 in Norman.

Each of the Rebels' first three games this season were decided in overtime where they recorded a 0-1-2 mark.  The overtime streak ended last weekend when Ole Miss dropped a close contest, 2-1, against Memphis at home.  The Rebels rebounded two days later to post their first win of the season, a 1-0 victory over Southern Miss in Oxford.  Ole Miss hosts Colorado on Friday.

The Rebels were picked to finish third in the Southeastern Conference's West Division a year after finishing in the same slot.  Ole Miss returns nine starters and 15 letterwinners from 2007, including two-time All-SEC honorees Jennifer Hance and Danielle Johnson and 2007 All-SEC midfielder Amy Bayles.

Ole Miss finished last season with a 7-8-5 overall record and a 4-4-3 mark in conference play. 

The Sooners' leading goal scorer in 2007 is off to another solid start this season. Palmer leads OU with three goals and tallied the scores in consecutive games against Central Michigan, Ball State and North Texas. The streak was the second of her Sooner career.

The Sooners return home to host Louisiana State on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.  OU will have Sunday, Sept. 21 off before preparing for the conference opener the following weekend.


The OU soccer team suffered an 0-2 weekend after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision at North Texas on Friday and a 1-0 loss to Rice at home on Sunday.  Both defeats came after goals scored late in the contests. 
On Sept. 5, the Sooners led 2-1 until the 83rd minute when the Mean Green tied the game and later claimed the victory in the first two minutes of overtime.  On Sept. 7, OU controlled momentum throughout the contest only to allow a goal on a corner kick with less than three minutes in regulation.

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 six of the last seven games when leading the opposition in shots.  Despite a 16-11 advantage in shots against Rice, OU fell to 1-1 on the season when leading that category.  It marked the first loss when the Sooners led in shots since Oct. 22, 2006 when OU fell to Nebraska, 1-0,  after leading 12-11 in the shot total.

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.

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). 
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.

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.

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.

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.

Oklahoma All-Access,'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.

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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