NORMAN, Okla. -- First-year head coach Nicole Nelson and the OU Athletics Department released the 2008 soccer schedule on Thursday, July 3. The season kicks off on Friday, August 22 at Colorado College and in preparation for the opener in Colorado Springs, OU will host Stephen F. Austin on Aug. 15 in the only exhibition game on the schedule.
The 19-game slate is highlighted by 10 contests at the Sooners' home and one of the premier collegiate soccer facilities in the nation, John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex, including the Ford Bedlam Series on Oct. 31 against Oklahoma State.
"We couldn't be more excited about getting started," Nelson said. "We have put all the time into changing the culture with this program in the past six months, not it's time to focus on playing some good soccer. As coaches, what we enjoy most is developing these players and preparing them for competition on the field. I expect this team to be competitive and fun to watch."
|2008 Soccer Schedule | Printable "PDF" Version|
Following the season opener on the road, the Sooners return to Norman to host Central Michigan on Friday, Aug. 29 at the OU Soccer Complex. OU will host another Mid American Conference opponent that weekend on Aug. 31 with Ball State in town.
In preparation for the rigorous play in the Big 12 Conference, OU will also host Rice, Louisiana State and Oregon and travel to North Texas, Memphis and Mississippi in non-conference action.
"A good non-conference schedule should prepare your team for the high level of competition in the Big 12 Conference," Nelson said. "We believe these opponents will do just that."
The conference slate kicks off on Friday, Sept. 26 at Colorado and the Sooners will complete the weekend on Sept. 28 in Lubbock, Texas against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. OU's Big 12 road schedule also includes Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor.
Oklahoma opens the home portion of the Big 12 schedule against Missouri on Friday, Oct. 10 and the weekend concludes with the Kansas Jayhawks on Oct. 12.
The Sooners will also host Nebraska and Iowa State before the season finale against Oklahoma State in the Ford Bedlam Series where OU will look to snap a three-game skid against the Cowgirls.
"The Bedlam series is one of the biggest rivalries in the country," Nelson said. "I believe it's a series we can win each year and that starts this season in Norman."
The Big 12 Championship (Nov. 5-9) will once again be held in San Antonio, Texas at the Blossom Soccer Stadium. The top eight teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament to determine the conference's champion and the automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
The 64-team field will kick off the postseason on Nov. 14 and conclude the tourney on Dec. 7 at the Women's College Cup, hosted this year by N.C. State in Cary, North Carolina.
The Sooners finished 6-10-3 overall last season and ninth in the Big 12 Conference with a 2-7-1 record. Oklahoma will look to turn things around in 2008 as it returns 17 letterwinners, including nine players with starting experience in at least 10 games. Three seniors, Helen Ajufo, Katie Corbitt and Traci Dickenson will help lead a young and talented Sooner team that features three juniors, 13 sophomores and seven freshmen.