NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners (3-7 overall, 0-3 Big 12) will face arguably the toughest weekend of the season as they travel south of the Red River to play at Texas A&M (6-3-1, 2-0) on Friday, Sept. 29 and at Texas (8-2, 2-0) on Sunday, Oct. 1. The Aggies are ranked as high as No. 8 in the NSCAA/adidas poll this week and the Longhorns are ranked as high as No. 10 in this week’s Soccer America poll.
ESPNU TO AIR OU-TEXAS GAME
For the second time in the program’s 11-year history, the Oklahoma soccer team will be seen live on national television as aired by ESPNU. OU will make the appearance against the Texas Longhorns on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Wendy Palladino (color) will provide the on-air talent. ESPNU is available on DirecTV (ch. 609) and the Dish Network (ch. 148). For more information on ESPNU and its availability, contact your local cable or satellite provider. The Sooners made their national television debut last year in Lincoln, Neb. College Sports Television (CSTV) aired the Oct. 21 contest that saw Nebraska edge Oklahoma 2-1.
FOLLOW LIVE ACTION
Live Stats can be tracked by clicking the link below. In addition to the ESPNU broadcast, both games can be followed live on each opponent’s respective web site.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
Oklahoma has played Texas A&M more than any other Big 12 in school history, but is winless in 11 all-time meetings. Five of those games were decided by one goal or less, including the last time the two met in College Station, a 2-1 win for Texas A&M in 2004.
The Aggies (6-3-1) are riding a three-game winning streak after suffering three consecutive losses to three ranked teams (played Oklahoma State on Wednesday). Texas A&M opened Big 12 play last weekend with a 1-0 win at Baylor and a 4-2 victory at Texas Tech. The Aggies started the winning streak against Sam Houston (9-0 win).
Freshman goalkeeper Kristin Arnold (6-2-1) has seen most of the minutes this season in the Aggie goal. Arnold has three shutouts and a 0.83 GAA (goals-against average). She has allowed seven goals and made 33 saves in nine games.
Another freshman, Amber Gnatzig, is tied for the team lead in goals with four. Her nine points ranks second to junior Ashlee Pistorius’ 11 (four goals, three assists). Pistorius led the Big 12 with 22 goals and 53 points last season.
Texas A&M finished the 2005 season with an 18-4-2 overall record (7-2-1 in Big 12 play) and defeated Colorado in the final game of the Big 12 Championship 2-1. Additionally, the Aggies advanced to the Sweet 16 last season before falling, 4-1, to Penn State.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
The Sooners will look for back-to-back wins against Texas for the first time since the 2000 season. The Red River Rivalry is tied at five games apiece and the 11th all-time meeting will be televised live by ESPNU.
Texas will host Oklahoma State on Friday and has won its last five games, including the first two games of the Big 12 season last weekend. The Longhorns traveled to Lubbock on Friday and topped the Red Raiders, 2-0, before topping Baylor, 2-1, on Sunday in Waco.
Sophomore goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger returns after being named to the Soccer America Freshman All-America Second Team in 2005. Pfenninger has two shutouts and a 0.98 GAA in 2006. She has allowed nine goals in nine games and has 30 saves. Offensively, junior Kelsey Carpenter leads Texas and the Big 12 with eight goals this season.
In 2005, Texas finished 11-9-1 (6-4 Big 12) and lost to Colorado, 3-2, in the second round of the Big 12 Championship. Texas’ NCAA postseason ended in a 3-2 loss to UTEP in the first round of the tournament.
LAST TIME OUT
Last weekend, the Sooners suffered its first two-loss weekend of the season since opening the year in Hawai’i. On Friday in Boulder Colo., the Sooners battled No. 11 Colorado and 40-degree temperatures in a 2-1 defeat. Junior Lauren Harris scored her first goal of the season in the second session, but the Sooners’ rally fell short. On Sunday, OU returned home and suffered a 1-0 heartbreaker to Kansas.
The Sooners return home in search of their first Big 12 win at John Crain Field this season. On Friday, Oct. 6, the Sooners will host No. 17 Missouri (8-2-0, 0-1) at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 8, OU will entertain Iowa State (5-6, 1-0) at 1 p.m.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
Besides the trip to Hawai’i that saw OU play on Saturday and Monday, the squad has played each game since on either Friday or Sunday. The Sooners have fared significantly better during the Sunday games compared to the Friday night contests. Below is a look at that comparison:
Against Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts, the Sooners combined to record 55 shots. Included in that stat is the 32 shots fired against the Golden Eagles on Sept. 17. That mark is the fourth highest total in school history behind the following totals:
52 vs. LSU (2-2) on Oct. 3, 1999
40 vs. Drury (8-1) on Sept. 1, 1997
36 vs. Southeast Louisiana (5-0) on Sept. 22, 2001
SHUTTING OUT THE OPPOSITION
After allowing five goals in the first three games, the Oklahoma defense has rebounded over the last seven games to post three shutouts and has lowered its goal-against average by half a point. OU has limited the opposition to six goals in the last seven contests. The Sooners’ GAA during those spans is listed below:
First three games: 1.67
Last seven games: 0.86
Current GAA: 1.10
LEADING THE WAY
Oklahoma is 2-0 this season when leading the opposition in shots, holding a 55-19 advantage in the two games against Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts. The Sooners are 1-5 when the opposition holds the edge in shots, with the only win coming over Michigan State, despite trailing 19-17 in that statistical category. In the seven losses this season, OU has been outshot 112-58.
Despite the trouble in leading the shot count, OU has had success with holding the advantage in corner kicks in 2006, topping the opponent in five of the 10 games (3-2 record when leading).
The Sooners have faced three teams so far this season that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. OU is 1-3 in those games with a win over Michigan State and losses to Colorado and Purdue. Four of the Sooners final nine games are against teams that participated in the 2005 NCAA postseason (Texas A&M, Texas, Iowa State and Nebraska). OU’s next three games are against teams in this week’s top 25 polls (Texas A&M, Texas and Missouri).
HOME SWEET HOME
Despite playing seven of the last eight games at home, the Sooners, who have had enjoyed success when playing in Norman, finished with a 3-4 mark. Of the nine games remaining this season, the Sooners have five games remaining at John Crain Field. Last year, OU enjoyed its best record at home with a 9-1 mark. OU is 49-30-7 lifetime at home, including a 26-11-4 mark over the last five seasons.
The Sooners have struggled with first-time opponents this season. OU has already faced five teams in 2006 for the first time during regular or postseason play (Washington, Hawai’i, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue) and recorded a 1-4 record against them. The Sooners will have a chance to improve upon that mark with first-time opponents Northern Iowa and Missouri State remaining on the schedule.
EVANS VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
The Sooners are 3-4 this year against teams outside of the Big 12 and still have Northern Iowa and Missouri State remaining. In 2005, OU posted its best non-conference record (8-1, .889 winning percentage) in program history. The last time OU had a losing non-conference record during a season was in 1999, current head coach Randy Evans’ first year.
Evans, now in his eighth season at OU, is 41-20-5 (.660) against non-conference opponents.
Kady Kelly’s goal scored with 26 seconds off the clock in the first half on Sunday against Stephen F. Austin was the second fastest goal scored in OU history and just the third scored in the first minute of a game by a Sooner. Below is a look at the top ten fastest goals in OU history:
00:21 Sept. 6, 2002 - Shannon Wing at Drury
00:26 Sept. 10, 2006 - Kady Kelly vs. Stephen F. Austin
00:54 Aug. 29, 2004 - Allyson Kucera vs. SMU
2:24 Sept. 3, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Colorado College
2:52 Aug. 27, 2000 - Jonette Coquat vs. Oral Roberts
2:55 Sept. 4, 2001 - Logan Womack vs. Oral Roberts
3:05 Oct. 4, 2002 - Krissy Dawson vs. TCU
4:38 Sept. 30, 2001 - Logan Womack at Missouri
4:45 Sept. 9, 1998 - Megan Olsen at Stephen F. Austin
5:02 Oct. 1, 1999 - Heather Martinelli vs. Colorado 5:02
OU SOCCER COMPLEX RENOVATIONS
The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department has completed Phase II of the OU Soccer Complex, a $4.5 million renovation. The addition of a state-of-the-art press box and grandstand is joined by a multi-use building located between the soccer complex and the Headington Family Tennis Center at the corner of Chautauqua Avenue and Imhoff Road.
Phase II construction began in November of 2005 and the new facility is comprised of spaces for student-athletes, coaches and fans of both soccer and tennis.
The OU soccer and tennis clubhouse features a training room, locker rooms, video and conference rooms, team facilities, and equipment, laundry and other support services.
The press box is equipped with camera decks and a media level complete with the latest technologies. The attractive conference room/meeting area serves as a versatile location for team meetings and activities, and will be used to host special guests, parents, donors and media.
In addition to increasing the seating capacity to 3,500, the complex also includes concessions, rest rooms and a ticket booth to give fans a complete family atmosphere for watching Division I soccer.
MACIVER JOINS COACHING STAFF
Lauren MacIver joined the OU coaching staff in August for the 2006 season as a student assistant. MacIver (2002-2005) finished her playing career as the program’s all-time assists leader with 18. A senior captain last season, she led all Sooners in 2005 with eight goals and eight assists (single season record) en route to being named to the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz All-District Second Teams. MacIver’s senior year also produced First Team All-Big 12 honors, marking the second time in school history that a Sooner held that distinction in soccer.
0 - Tara Macdonald - Goalkeeper from James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas ... Team won district from 2003-05.
1 - Jennifer Nichols - Tied for second in the Big 12 with three shutouts and ranks second with 48 saves ... Recorded shutouts this season against Michigan State, Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts ... One shutout shy of tying second place on OU's all-time list, trailing Jana Cunningham with 11... Ranks third all-time with 182 career saves.
2 - Ashley Farrand -Started last six games and has played in nine games this season ... Has two shots on the year, both against Michigan State ... Saw first action as a Sooner on Aug. 28 against Hawai’i.
3 - Helen Ajufo - Has started all 30 games she has played in at OU ... In 2005, she was the only freshman to play in every game throughout the season.
7 - Andrea Hurley - Started all ten games this season on defense ... Named to all-tournament team in Hawai’i ... Senior captain.
9 - Savannah Scott - Leads team with 20 shots in ten games played (eight starts) this season ... Came off the bench to tally second goal of the year against Oral Roberts ... Scored first goal of the season against Stephen F. Austin ... After ORU game, moved into sole possession of third place all-time at OU with 19 career goals and is tied for fourth with 45 points.
10 - Kady Kelly - Leads the team with three goals, two assists and eight points ... Became the tenth Sooner to record two assists in one game against Oral Roberts, tying a school record ... Has started a team-best 46 consecutive games at OU (dates back to Sept. 3, 2004) ... Recorded first multi-goal game of her career against Stephen F. Austin with two tallies ... Entered 2006 season with three career goals ... Named to all-tournament team in Hawai’i ... Including regular and preseason games in 2006, she has five goals and four assists.
11 - Shana All - Five starts this season and has seen action in all ten games ... Fired a season-high four shots against Oral Roberts ... Scored game-winning goal (second of career) against Michigan State ... Tied her for fifth most in OU history with nine career assists.
12 - Lauren Harris - Has 10 shots in 10 starts this season ... Scored first goal of the season on a free kick against Colorado ... Recorded first assist of the season (sixth of career) against Stephen F. Austin.
13 - Daphne Fitzpatrick - Only freshman to start all ten games this season ... Recorded first career point as a Sooner with an assist against Stephen F. Austin ... Tied a season high with five shots against Oral Roberts (5 vs. SFA) ... Named to the all-tournament team in Hawai’i.
14 - Jayme Seetin - Junior started first career game against Washington this season ... Has three starts this season and has seen time in all ten games ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team.
15 - Christie Smeal - Played in four games this season ... Scored first career goal against Oral Roberts ... Made OU debut in 2005 season opener against Arkansas.
16 - Tenesha Duncan - Tied for second on the team with 18 shots ... Has eight starts this season and has played in all ten games ... Recorded first assist of the season and fifth of her career against Stephen F. Austin ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
17 - Kate Marr - Made first career start against Oral Roberts ... Has played in eight games this season ... Made OU debut against Washington on Aug 26.
18 - Allyson Kucera - Scored first goal of the season against Oklahoma State ... Has 16 shots in 10 starts this season ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team ... Moved into sole possession of eighth place all-time in OU history with 10 career goals.
19 - Colleen Keester - Scored first goal of the season (second of career) against Oral Roberts ... Has played in every game this season ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
20 - Charla Baker - Tallied 19 goals and 15 assists at Nolan Catholic H.S. in Colleyville, Texas.
21 - Kasey Hahn - Scored 25 goals and 16 assists at Norman H.S. Older sister, Lindsey, also played at OU.
23 - Savannah Campbell -Saw first and only action of 2006 against Michigan State ... Made first appearance as a Sooner against Arkansas on Aug. 28, 2005.
24 - Katie Corbitt - Started seven games after coming off the bench in the first two games of the season.
25 - Rebecca Nelson - Played in four of the last five games ... Made Sooner debut against Stephen F. Austin.
26 - Ashlee Coleman - Tallied six goals and eight assists last year at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, N.M.
27 - Audri Habibi - Played in four games this season ... Junior college transfer that made Sooner debut against Stephen F. Austin ... Fired a season-high three shots against Oral Roberts.
28 - Kate Leyendecker - Freshman made Sooner debut against Hawai’i ... Played in four games this season.
31 - Evelyn Larson - 6-0 goalkeeper from El Paso, Texas ... Played Franklin High School.
32 - Ashley King - Made first career appearance as a Sooner against Arkansas on Aug. 28,2005.
33 - Lauren King - Played in three games this season ... Made first appearance of 2006 against Michigan State ... Scored first career goal against Oral Roberts (9/18/05).
44 - Traci Dickenson - Started first two games of the season on defense and has seen time in six games ... Started one game last season as a freshman.