Soccer Preview: Midfielders and Forwards

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 19, 2007

Aug. 19, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma soccer team completed its first week of practice over the weekend in preparation for the 2007 season, which begins on Aug. 31 at home against Alabama A&M. The Sooners will also host Oral Roberts that weekend on Sept 2.

Prior to the season opener, continues to bring fans a preview of 2007, with the third and final installment featuring the Sooners' midfielders and forwards.

Coach Evans on the Midfield
"This is perhaps the area on the field where we feature the least amount of depth, but it is by no means short on talent.

"The midfield is yet another combination of experience and youth for our club.  The coaching staff expects Allyson (Kucera), Ashley (Farrand) and Tiana (Dickson) to earn three of the starting spots in the midfield.

"Allyson has been solid throughout her career and she has the ability to lead the team from the middle of the field.  Ashley was perhaps our most valuable freshman a year ago and Tiana is expected to make an immediate impact. 

"This group will initiate the attack and transfer the ball from the defense to the front line.  Its strength will be on set pieces as three of the expected starters stand at 5-8 or taller and have tremendous ability in the air.

"Other midfielders expected to compete for starting spots are Colleen Keester and Kate Leyendecker."

Key Retuner
Allyson Kucera - Kucera provides OU with the most returning experience in the midfield with 57 career starts.  She also has 22 career points (10 goals).

Newcomer to Watch   
Tianna Dickson - Dickson is the younger sister of OU softball All-American Norrelle Dickson.  She is talented in the air and expected to have a big impact in 2007. 


Coach Evans on the Forwards
"Without a doubt, this will be the most exciting group to watch.  The potential of the forwards and their scoring ability is the biggest reason the coaching staff is so optimistic about the 2007 season.

"The depth on the front line, which should feature three starting forwards, is a luxury that OU has never had in the past.  We will have multiple scoring threats as this could be the position with the most depth.

"The forwards are led by three experienced returners in Shana (All), Tenesha (Duncan) and Audri (Habibi).  Shana proved to be one of our best clutch performers last season and Audri came on late to make big contributions on offense.  If Tenesha stays healthy, she can be a very potent scorer.

"We also have a group of very talented newcomers who will see time in our offensive scheme, led by Whitney (Palmer), Lauren (Alkek) and Kelsey (Allison).

"All three were standouts in high school and Palmer is the highlight in the group after she scored 10 goals in the last six games of our spring season."   

Key Retuner     
Shana All - All returns as the team's top scorer from last season.  All ranked second among all Sooners in 2006 with five goals and tallied three game-winners.

Newcomer to Watch  
Whitney Palmer - Palmer enters the 2007 season as one of the most heralded recruits in program history. She led the Sooners in scoring during the spring.

>> Part Two - Goalies and defense
>> Part One - Outlook and schedule




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