Sooners Welcome No. 11 LSU Friday
September 18, 2008
 OU Soccer (1-6) vs. No. 11 Louisiana State (5-0)
 Date  Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. 
 Location  Norman, Okla.  |  John Crain Field (Capacity: 3,500)
 Internet  Live Stats  |  Live Webcast on Friday
 Promos/Tickets  First 500 fans receive OU soccer rally towels | Purchase Online
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF) | 2008 Media Guide

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners (1-6) will look to snap their four-game losing streak this weekend at home as they welcome their first ranked opponent of the season, No. 11 (Soccer America) Louisiana State. 

The Tigers are undefeated at 5-0 and enter this week ranked in the top 20 of three major polls.

The contest is slated for 7 p.m. and gates will open one hour prior to the start time.  For tickets, call (405) 325-2424 or toll-free: (800) 456-GoOU the link above in the information box.

Fans can follow the action live from Norman this Friday on the internet with live stats on and a live webcast on Oklahoma All-Access, the site’s premium broadband channel. 

Nelson reviews Sunday's loss at Ole Miss
Video The Sooners' head coach previews Friday's game against LSU

LSU has only played two games this month due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike but stand undefeated at 5-0 and in search of a school-record sixth consecutive win.  The Tigers have stayed unbeaten with plenty of offensive firepower that has outscored opponents 17-2.  LSU most recently topped Centenary, 7-0, on Sept. 14 in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers return 14 letterwinners and nine starters from the 2007 squad that lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the SEC West with a 12-5-7 overall record (5-2-4  in conference).  LSU was picked to repeat as champions of the west division this season by the SEC coaches.

Junior midfielders Michelle Makasini and Malorie Rutledge lead the Tigers in goals (5) and assists (6), respectively, in 2008.  Rutledge was a first team All-SEC selection and honorable mention All-American in 2007.

LSU leads the all-time series with OU, 1-0-1.  The Sooners and Tigers battled to a 2-2 double overtime draw in the last meeting on Oct. 3, 1999 in Norman.  In that game, the Sooners recorded a program-record 51 shots, a mark that remains atop the list.  LSU won the first meeting on Nov. 3, 1996 in Baton Rouge, 2-0.

The first 500 fans will receive OU soccer rally towels and the concession stand will be grilling out in the courtyard.  In addition, the following promos are planned:

- Youth Soccer Month Celebration Day
- Camp and Clinic Reunion
- Pregame inflatable games for kids
- Fireworks after each Sooner goal scored
- Autographs following the game

The Sooners’ goalkeeper and the OU defense will be tested on Friday as LSU enters the weekend as one of the nation’s top-scoring offenses.  The Tigers tallied seven goals and fired 21 shots in their last contest against Centenary. 

The Sooners begin Big 12 Conference play on the road starting with Colorado (5-1-1, 1-0) on Friday, Sept. 26.  The Buffaloes have won the last three series meetings, including last season’s 2-1 overtime victory in Norman.  CU leads the all-time series 7-4-1.

OU travels to Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday, Sept. 28 to battle Texas Tech (4-2-1, 0-1).  After dropping the first four meetings in the series, OU leads 6-4-1 overall.  The Sooners’ six-game winning streak ended in 2007 with a scoreless tie played in Norman.

The Sooners dropped a pair of road games last weekend, starting with a 3-0 defeat at Memphis on Friday, Sept. 12.  The defending Conference USA Champions jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead. 

The Sooners lost 2-1 at Mississippi on Sunday, Sept. 14 despite holding a 1-0 halftime lead.  Whitney Palmer gave OU the lead with her team-leading fourth goal of the season, but Rebels’ midfielder Jennifer Hance turned in a two-goal performance that was recorded in the first three minutes of the second half.


The Sooners are 0-9-1 in their last 10 games against ranked competition, all conference games.  OU tied then-No. 10 Texas on the road on Oct. 1, 2006 and its last win against a ranked opponent was also against Texas.  OU topped the No. 21 Longhorns, 2-0, on Sept. 25, 2005 in Norman.

Sophomore forward Whitney Palmer’s goal against Ole Miss on Sept. 14 was the 10th of her career as she became the third fastest Sooner to accomplish the feat (tied with Jonette Coquat-26 games).  Palmer is one of five Sooners to score 10 career goals in 30 games or less and she only trails Heather Morrison (20 games) and Logan Womack (23 games).  Palmer is also one of 12 Sooners to score 10 or more goals in her career.

Senior captain Katie Corbitt has played in more games (63) than any other Sooner on the 2008 roster.  Friday’s game will mark the Highland Village, Texas, native’s 43rd consecutive start in a Sooner uniform.

The Sooners' first victory of the season also came during their first game where they finished with the advantage in shots.  OU outshot Ball State, 15-11, and has won six of the last seven games when leading the opposition in shots.  Despite a 16-11 advantage in shots against Rice, OU fell to 1-1 on the season when leading that category.  It marked the first loss when the Sooners led in shots since Oct. 22, 2006 when OU fell to Nebraska, 1-0,  after leading 12-11 in the shot total.

The Sooners opened the 2008 season on the road and seven of their first 12 games are played away from the friendly confines of John Crain Field.  In contrast, the Sooners will play five of the final seven games of the regular season at home.

Nicole Nelson became the fastest head coach to record her first win at the helm of the Sooner program on Aug. 31.  Nelson accomplished the feat in her third game, a 2-1 win against Ball State, topping the previous mark held by Randy Evans (fourth game). 
Entering the 2008 season, sophomore forward Whitney Palmer is tied for fifth all-time with four career game-winning goals.  Palmer's four game winners scored in 2007 ranks in a tie for third in a single season.

Senior Katie Corbitt and sophomore Kelsey Allison were voted as the 2008 captains by their teammates and the coaching staff last week.  Corbitt entered the season with more starts and games played than any other Sooner on the current roster and has made 36 consecutive starts for OU.  Allison played in all but one game as a freshman in 2007 and made 13 starts.  Allison was part of the talented group of newcomers that combined to score nine goals last season.

First year head coach Nicole Nelson and assistant coach Kara Lowery bring to Norman six years of combined experience coaching in the Big 12 Conference.  Coach Nelson was an assistant at Texas the last two seasons where the Longhorns won back-to-back Big 12 Tournament Championships and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.  Nelson spent the 2005 season as a member of the Baylor coaching staff.  Lowery comes from Lawrence, Kan., where she helped lead the Jayhawks into the top five of the Big 12 standings for three seasons as an assistant.  Despite not having experience in the conference, assistant coach Graeme Abel helped Nevada the past three seasons set a program record for wins and advance to the Wolfpack's first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Only five upper classmen can be found on this year's roster as three seniors (Katie Corbitt, Traci Dickenson and Helen Ajufo) and two juniors (Ashley Farrand and Kate Marr) will look to lead a young squad.  Despite the lack of juniors and seniors, OU returns 14 sophomores, five of which saw significant playing time in 2007 and scored 22 of the team's 30 goals.

Oklahoma All-Access,'s premium site, will provide a live webcast for every Friday home game throughout the 2008 season.  Additional games may be added to the broadcast schedule at a future date.  In addition, live stats are available for all Sooner Soccer games this season.

NEW IN 2008
A talented recruiting class joins the Sooners in 2008, including two Division I transfers Lisa Jett (UCLA) and Sage Coralli (Pepperdine).  The remaining freshman class is made up of Michelle Alexander, Danielle Digeralamo, Abbey Golliher, Kelsey Kraft, Jordan King and Jordan White.


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