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Soccer Opens 2011 at Home Friday Night
August 18, 2011
OU (0-0) vs. UAB (0-0) and Tennessee (0-0)
 Game 1 vs. UAB  Friday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | John Crain Field - OU Soccer Complex
 Promos/Tickets  Free Admission | $8 adult, $5 youth
 Internet  Live Stats | Webcast (paid)
 Game 2 vs. Tenn.  Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | John Crain Field - OU Soccer Complex
 Promos/Tickets  Free posters and schedule cards & more | $8 adult, $5 youth
 Internet  Live Stats | Webcast (paid)
 2011 Preview  Part One | Part Two | Q&A with Coach Nelson
 Additional Info  2011 Media Guide | Weekly Releases | Blog | Twitter
 
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooner soccer team (0-0) kicks off the 2011 season at home for third time in the last five years when it hosts Alabama at Birmingham on Friday, Aug. 19. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start time at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex and admission is free in honor of "Fan Appreciation Day."

OU is coming off a 3-2 exhibition win at Arkansas on Saturday after sophomore Bailey Boulware tallied the game winner in overtime. UAB was also victorious in its lone exhibition game with a 2-0 decision over Arkansas State at home.

The Blazers are in their first year under head coach Harold Warren and were picked to finish 10th in the coaches' preseason poll. They return four starters from the 2010 team that was 8-9-2 overall and seventh in the Conference USA standings with a 4-5-2 mark. Senior midfielder Carolyn Polcari ranked second on the team with eight goals, five assists and 21 points in 2010.

Friday's game is the first meeting in the series between the Sooners and Blazers.

Game 2 | vs. Tennessee
On Sunday, Aug. 21, Oklahoma welcomes Tennessee to Norman for the first time. The Sooners and Lady Vols are scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the OU Soccer Complex.

Tennessee returns seven starters from the 2010 team that finished third in the SEC East with a 7-3-1 record and a 10-9-1 overall mark. The Lady Vols return their leading scorer from 2010 in midfielder/forward Chelsea Hatcher. The senior had eight goals and four assists last season off 105 shots.

The Sooners are 0-1 all-time against the Lady Volunteers. In 2003, OU made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament and dropped a 1-0 decision to then-No. 7 Tennessee in Knoxville. In their 2011 exhibition game, the Lady Vols tied Samford at home.

On the Web
Fans can follow live stats for both games with a link via the schedule page on SoonerSports.com. A live webcast is also available for both games via OU All-Access, the premium site for SoonerSports.com.

Player to Watch - #4 Caitlin Mooney | Jr. | F | Edmond, Okla.
Last week, the junior forward was named to the 2011 Preseason All-Big 12 team. In 2010, Mooney, a member of the Big 12 Newcomer team, finished second among all Sooners in scoring with seven goals and three assists. It marked her first season in Norman after transferring from Maryland, where she helped lead the Terrapins to the NCAA Sweet 16.
2010 Stats: 23 games played (22 starts), seven goals, three assists, 41 shots (24 on goal)

Aug. 16, 2011 | Nelson Reviews Exhib., Previews Opener
Watch the video below to listen to OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson talk about the exhibition game and the 2011 opener the opening weekend versus UAB and Tennessee.



Last Time Out
The Sooners won their eighth straight exhibition game dating back to 2003 with a 3-2 overtime victory at Arkansas on Aug. 13. OU took the initial lead before falling behind 2-1 in the second half. Dria Hampton scored the game-tying goal while Bailey Boulware posted the decisive tally in the fourth minute of overtime. OU last lost an exhibition game in 2002 to Saint Louis.

Next Week
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Bedlam Series features its non-conference edition on Friday. Aug. 26 at Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. OSU owns a 14-2-2 advantage in the series after winning both regular series meetings in 2010 and the title game of the Big 12 Championship. OSU has won each of the last eight meetings, but 13 of the contests have been decided by one goal or less. The Sooners' two wins in the Bedlam Series came in 2005 (Stillwater) and 2001 (Norman) and they played in a scoreless tie in Stillwater in 2003 and lost in penalty kicks in the 2010 Big 12 Championship.

OU also faces SMU next week, a team that tied OSU in an exhibition game last weekend. The OU and SMU contest in Norman is slated for a 7 p.m. start on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Season Openers
OU is 6-3-1 in the last 10 season openers after dropping last year's game at Oklahoma State, a non-conference affair. The other two defeats in that span came in 2008 at Colorado College (L, 3-1) and in 2006 at Washington (L, 1-0). The tie occurred in 2004 against Saint Louis in Norman.. The last time OU opened a regular season slate at home was in 2009, a 3-0 win over Missouri State. The Sooners are 7-7-1 overall in season openers and 3-0-1 when beginning a campaign at home.

Mooney Named Preseason All-Big 12
For the third straight season, a member of the Sooner soccer team was selected by the Big 12 coaches' as a preseason honoree. Junior Caitlin Mooney was named one of the team's forwards on Thursday a year after she selected as part of the All-Big 12 Newcomer team.

Whitney Palmer, OU's all-time leading scorer, appeared on the preseason squad in 2010 and 2009.

In 2010, Mooney finished second on the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists. It marked her first season in Norman after transferring from Maryland. The Edmond, Okla., native helped lead the Terrapins to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009 as a true freshman with four goals scored and an assist.

Tough Competition
Once again in 2011, the Sooners face a challenging non-conference schedule before play in the always competitive Big 12 begins. Overall, the Sooners will play seven games against six teams (twice against Oklahoma State) that were also in the 2010 postseason field of 64. In addition, OU faces 12 games against teams with 10-plus wins a year ago.

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