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Soccer Opens NCAA Play Friday vs. UW
November 11, 2010

Nov. 11, 2010



2010 NCAA Portland Regional
 First Round vs. Washington  Friday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. CT
 Location  Portland, Ore. | Merlo Field
 Teams  Portland | UT-San Antonio | Washington
 Internet  Live Stats
 NCAA Field  Complete Bracket (pdf) | Interactive Bracket
 Game Info  2010 Media Guide | Weekly Releases | Blog | Twitter

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooner soccer team (12-7-3) is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. Oklahoma received an at-large bid and opens the 2010 single-elimination tournament against Washington (11-8-1) on Friday, Nov. 12. The first round game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. CT at Merlo Field in Portland, Ore.

The winner between OU and Washington will face the winner of the second game on Friday between host and No. 1 seed Portland (18-1-1) and UT-San Antonio (13-7-2). The second round game will be played on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT at Merlo Field.

It marks the second NCAA appearance in program history for the Sooners, which finished 6-2-2 in their final 10 games and tied then-No. 10 Oklahoma State on Sunday in the Big 12 Championship.

In 2010, Washington finished fourth in the Pac-10 standings with a 4-5 mark. The Huskies finished with a 4-6 mark in the last 10 games and the Pac-10 does not host a conference tournament.

The Sooners and Huskies have faced off once before back in 2006. OU opened that campaign with a 2-1 loss to Washington in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Oklahoma has never played Portland or UT-San Antonio.

The Huskies are 9-9-1 in the NCAA Tournament and making their 11th overall appearance. UW advanced to the second round in each of the last two seasons and advanced to the Elite 8 in 2004 (program best).

The Pilots, ranked No. 2 in the polls and winners of the West Coast Conference, are making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance with national titles in 2005 and 2002 (runner-up in 1996). The Roadrunners are making their first NCAA postseason appearance after claiming the Southland Conference’s automatic bid last weekend.

NCAA Tournament History
OU’s lone appearance in the NCAA Tournament prior to this season was in 2003. That squad finished the year with an 8-7-5 record after falling to then-No. 7 Tennessee, 1-0, in the Knoxville Regional.

On the Web
Fans can follow live stats throughout the tournament on NCAAsports.com.

Tickets
Tickets went on sale Wednesday through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 745-3000 or in-person at the Pilot Box Office. Prices are $9 for adult bleacher seating and $5 for youth bleacher seating. Stadium chairs are $19 and bench backs are $12.

Player to Watch - #0 Kelsey Devonshire | So. | GK | North Richland Hills, Texas
The sophomore posted the best numbers of any goalkeeper in the Big 12 Championship last week with two shutouts, 16 saves and a 0.31 goals-against average. Devonshire is third in the Big 12 with six shutouts and ranks third all-time at Oklahoma with 12 in her career.
2010 Stats: 22 games played, 22 starts, 100 saves, 1.20 GAA, six shutouts

Last Time Out
OU faced three ranked opponents last week in the 2010 Big 12 Championship and fell just short of the program’s first conference title. The Sooners started the tournament with a 1-0 win over then-No. 21 Texas in the quarterfinals and two days later, knocked off then-No. 6 Texas A&M in the semifinals, the top seed, with a 1-0 victory in overtime. Sunday’s championship game saw OU take an early 1-0 lead, but the Cowgirls battled back to tie the game late and force overtime and penalty kicks. It marked the second championship game in Big 12 history to be decided by a shootout (2006, Texas beat Colorado, 5-4). In addition, OU had never played in a game featuring the penalty kick round before Sunday.

Big 12 All-Tournament Team
Seniors Lauren Alkek and Whitney Palmer and sophomore Dria Hampton) were named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team. Only one other Sooner in program history has held that distinction (Bridgette Smith in 2000).

Nelson, Palmer and Mooney Honored
The All-Big 12 team was announced on Nov. 1 and three Sooners were honored. Head coach Nicole Nelson shared Coach of the Year honors with Colin Carmichael (Oklahoma State), her third such honor but first in the Big 12. Senior forward Whitney Palmer was named to the second team, her fourth consecutive All-Big 12 honor and a first by a Sooner. Sophomore Caitlin Mooney was selected to the newcomer team with six goals in her first season at OU after transferring from Maryland.

Sooners Picked 10th and Finish Fourth
The preseason Big 12 coaches’ poll tabbed OU to finish 10th in 2010 and the Sooners entered the Big 12 Championship as the tournament’s No. 4 seed, the highest finish in school history. The Sooners then advanced to play in the program’s first Big 12 Championship game, only to lose in penalty kicks.

Technically, OU posted the league’s third best conference record (5-4-1) along with Nebraska, a team the Sooners tied back on Oct. 14. However, the Huskers claimed the No. 3 seed via a Big 12 tiebreaker that uses goal differential.

Sooners Collect Nine Academic Honors
Senior Lauren Alkek, junior Michelle Alexander and sophomore Katharine Nutman were named to CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine’s Academic All-District VI second team while sophomore Dria Hampton was voted to the third team. The four selections mark a program best, topping the three honored in 2007. OU has been represented on the academic all-district team in each of the last eight years and has multiple honorees in five of those seasons. Alexander was named to the third team a year ago.

In addition, Alexander, Alkek, Nutman and Hampton were also named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team along with senior Tiana Dickson. The five honorees marks the seventh straight season that OU has placed at least five student-athletes on the first team. Alkek and Dickson are three-time honorees while Alexander collected her second such accolade.

Best Since 2005
OU finished the 2010 regular season with 10 wins, the fifth time it posted double-digit victories in a season (first since 2005). The Sooners also tied a school record with five Big 12 wins, a total also accomplished in 2005. In addition, OU currently has 37 goals, tied for the highest total in school history with the 2005 Sooners.

Palmer Becomes OU’s All-Time Scorer
On Oct. 8, 2010 against Francis Marion, senior Whitney Palmer tied OU’s career goals record with 34. Two days later at Kansas, Palmer turned in her second straight one goal and one assist performance to move into sole possession of OU’s career goals mark and tied the career lead in points with 75. Logan Womack finished her career in 2003 with 34 goals and 75 points. Palmer currently has 38 goals and 83 points. Below is a look at where Palmer ranks in OU history:

Career Marks
1st with 38 goals
1st with 83 points
T-2nd with 10 game-winning goals
3rd with 220 shots

Single Season Marks
1st with 15 goals in 2009
1st with 32 points in 2009
T-3rd with nine goals in 2010
4th with eight goals in 2008
5th with 22 points in 2010
T-3rd with four game winners in 2007 and 2010

Misc. Records
Fastest goal in OU history (11 seconds)
T-1st with three goals in a game
T-1st with goals in four consecutive games
T-1st with two assists in one game

Striking First
The Sooners are 11-2-2 when scoring the game’s initial goal this season. On the other side, OU is 1-5 when the opponent strikes first. OU has scored first in 10 of the last 13 games with an 8-3-2record in that span, including its first victory when surrendering the game’s first goal (vs. Colorado). OU’s two losses when scoring the contest’s first goal came at Texas A&M and at Missouri.

Doubling up the Goals
Oklahoma started the season with 10 goals in the first nine contests, a 1.1 per game average. In the last 13 games, OU has found the back of the net on 26 occasions, a two goals per game average. Included in that span, was the 8-0 victory over Francis Marion, which tied a program record for most goals scored in a game (won 8-0 over Alabama A&M in 2007 and won 8-1 over Drury in 1997).

One-Goal Games
Seventeen of the 21 games in 2010 have been decided by one goal or less with OU holding a 10-4-3 record. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in one-goal wins. Oklahoma was 2-4-2 in games played in 2009 decided by one goal or less and 3-5-1 in head coach Nicole Nelson’s first season in 2008.

Four Straight Overtime Games
Six out of the last eight games have been contested past regulation time, including four straight at one point, and three played in double overtime. The Sooners are 4-2-2 in that span with victories over Colorado and Texas (twice). Oklahoma is 3-1-3 on the season in overtime games with the only loss coming at then-No. 6 Texas A&M.
OU has played in four straight overtime games on one other occasion in school history. In 2003, the Sooners battled Iowa State (T, 2-2), Missouri (W, 2-1), Nebraska (L, 2-1) and Colorado (T, 0-0). Three of those games also reached double overtime.

More Overtime
OU was without a win in the last 15 overtime games before the 2-1 victory over Colorado in extra time on Oct. 17. The Sooners’ previous overtime win was also against Colorado on Oct. 2, 2005 in Norman (OU won 2-1 in OT).

Devonshire’s Shutouts
In 2009, goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire set an OU freshman record with six shutouts. She has started all 39 games and played all but 113 minutes of those contests since stepping foot on campus. Devonshire has six shutouts in 2010 against Tulsa, Rice, UC Santa Barbara, Nebraska and against Texas and Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship. In addition, Devonshire and the OU defense are the only Big 12 team to blank the Huskers in 2010. Following the semifinal win over Texas A&M, she moved into third place all-time at OU with 12 career shutouts. Below is a look at the OU shutout leaders:

1 - Catharine Wade (2001-04) - 18
2 - Jennifer Nichols (2004-07) - 16
3 - Kelsey Devonshire (2009-present) - 12
4 - Jana Cunningham (1999-2002) - 11

20 Deep
OU showcased what is probably Nicole Nelson’s deepest squad in the season opener at then-No. 19 OSU. Twenty players saw time in the season opener, including eight freshmen. OU has averaged 18 players per game in 2010, including six other contests with 20 players used and a season-high 25 versus Francis Marion. Overall, 26 players have seen time on the field this season, including 10 newcomers.

Newcomers Making their Mark
Ten newcomers (nine true freshmen) have logged minutes out of the 26 players to see the field in 2010, including seven starters. In addition, 16 out of OU’s 37 goals scored in 2010 have come off the foots of newcomers, including eight from freshmen (Bailey Boulware, Zoe Dickson, Annalisa Hall, Samantha Howell and Emily Reid).Caitlin Mooney, a sophomore transfer from Maryland, leads all newcomers with seven goals.

 

 

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