DALLAS, Texas -
Oklahoma soccer is picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 in a preseason poll voted
on by the league head coaches and released by the conference office on Friday.
OU returns nine starters and 16 letterwinners including preseason All-Big 12 forward Logan Womack for the 2002 season. The Sooners finished sixth in the Big 12 last year with a 4-5-1 conference mark (11-7-1 overall).
"It's time to start competing for a Big 12 championship," said head coach Randy Evans. "This conference is so strong. If you're competing for the conference title -- you're also in the running for the Final Four. It's tough to get on top in this league but once you're there, you're on top in the country."
Texas A&M was picked to win the 2002 Big 12 Conference soccer title. The Aggies received seven first-place votes and accumulated 96 total points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or players in the preseason poll. Texas, the defending Big 12 champion, was chosen second with one first place vote and 90 points.
Nebraska was picked third with the remaining three first place votes and 87 points. Oklahoma and Missouri rounded out the top five with 65 and 64 points, respectively. Texas A&M won the 2001 Big 12 Tournament title and claimed both the regular season and tournament championships in 1997. A&M finished in a tie for second with Nebraska in last year's regular season race.
Nebraska won the inaugural Big 12 crown in 1996, followed by TAMU in 1997 and Baylor in 1998. NU won two more titles in 1999 and 2000 prior to UT's championship last year.
Oklahoma hosts Saint Louis in an exhibition match on Friday, August 23 at 5 p.m. at the OU Soccer Complex. The Sooners open the regular season against Tulsa at the ORU Soccer Complex on the campus of Oral Roberts on Friday, August 30 at 6 p.m. Contact the OU ticket office at 1-800-456-GoOU for ticket information to home games.
2002 Preseason Big 12 Coaches' Poll
|1. Texas A&M (7)||96|
|2. Texas (1)||90|
|3. Nebraska (3)||87|
|9. Oklahoma State||29|
|10. Iowa State||16|
|11. Texas Tech||15|
First place votes in parenthesis
Coaches not allowed to vote for own team or players
2002 Preseason All-Big 12 Soccer Team
GK - Erin Miller, Nebraska, 5-11, Jr, Sioux Falls, S.D.
D - Breanna Boyd, Nebraska, 5-8, Sr, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
D - Tamura Crawley, Baylor, 5-6, SR, Dallas, Texas
D - Jessica Hopkins, Texas, 5-8, SR, Mansfield, Texas
MF - Kristen Strutz, Texas A&M, Jr, Spring, Texas
MF - Nicole Breger, Texas, 5-5, So, Sterling Heights, Mich.
MF - Kati McBain, Texas, 5-6, Jr, Los Altos, Calif.
F - Christine Latham, Nebraska, 5-9, SR, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
F - Kelly Wilson, Texas, 5-6, So, Odessa, Texas
F - Logan Womack, Oklahoma, 5-3, Jr, Norman, Okla.
F - Linsey Woodard, 5-9, Texas A&M, So, Midland, Texas