NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooners will look to rebound this weekend, after starting the 2006 season 0-2, with a pair of games against Big Ten opponents in Norman. On Friday, the Sooners will host Michigan at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, OU will entertain Michigan State at 1 p.m.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
For the third consecutive game this season, OU will square off against a first-time opponent when it hosts Michigan on Friday. The Sooners started the season with games against first-time opponents Washington and Hawai’i.
The Wolverines (1-0-1) are coming off a weekend which saw them go into double overtime in two home games. On Friday, Michigan battled in-state rival Western Michigan to a scoreless tie in Ann Arbor. On Sunday, the Wolverines pulled off an upset by defeating then-No. 17 Arizona, 1-0, with a goal in the 107th minute.
Three-year starter Megan Tuura anchors the Wolverines’ defense. The senior, who currently has 253 career saves, is three blocks shy of second place all-time at Michigan. Tuura has one shutout this season (Arizona) and combined with Madison Gates to hold Western Michigan scoreless in the season opener.
Judy Coffman has the Wolverines’ lone goal this season, scoring the game winner against the Wildcats. Coffman was third on the team last season with six goals, trailing Therese Heaton (11) and Melissa Dobbyn (12). Dobbyn returns in 2006 for her junior season.
Michigan finished 8-9-4 overall last season (3-6-1 Big Ten) and advanced to the conference finals before falling to Wisconsin.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
The Sooners’ contest on Sunday features the fourth first-time opponent of the season, Michigan State. The Spartans play at Oklahoma State on Friday.
The Spartans (1-1-0) opened the 2006 season with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Central Michigan. In Sunday’s outing, MSU topped Western Michigan, 4-2, in Kalamazoo.
Freshman Lauren Hill, who was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, leads the team in goals (4) and points (9). All four of Hill’s goals came in the first half of the Western Michigan game. She is the fourth Spartan to tally four scores in a single game (school record).
Junior Nicole Galas is coming off a stellar sophomore season in goal which saw her post a school-record 12 shutouts. Galas allowed 22 goals in 23 games last year (0.92 GAA), but has already allowed five goals in the first two games of the 2006 season.
In 2005, Michigan State finished 12-6-5 overall (6-2-2) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
TICKETS AND PROMOTIONS
Gates will open one hour before each game at John Crain Field on the corner of Imhoff Road and Chautauqua Avenue. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children (K-12). OU students receive free admission with a valid student ID. For more information, including information on group rates, contact the OU ticket office at 800-456-GoOU.
On Friday, the first 500 fans will receive a free 2006 OU soccer schedule poster and t-shirt. The game will also be followed by a fireworks show. On Sunday, the first 250 fans will receive foam noodles and schedule posters.
LAST TIME OUT
The Oklahoma Sooners struggled in the first weekend of action in the 2006 season. OU opened the year with a 2-1 defeat to Washington after holding a one-goal lead at the half.
On Sunday, the Sooners had its chances to get on the board with numerous breakaway chances, but came up empty in a 1-0 loss to Hawai’i. Kady Kelly, Andrea Hurley and Daphne Fitzpatrick were named to the all-tournament team.
The Sooners will remain at home to host Purdue and Stephen F. Austin next weekend. The Sooners and Boilermakers, who have only met in preseason action, will kick things off on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s match-up against the Ladyjacks is slated for a 1 p.m. start time.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Sooners won nine out of 10 home games last season and have a chance to break into double digit wins this season with 12 games scheduled at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex. This weekend against Michigan and Michigan State begins a six-game home stand for the Sooners. Additionally, OU will play nine of its next 12 in Norman. OU is 46-26-7 lifetime at home, including a 31-9-5 mark over the last five seasons.
SOONERS IN SEASON OPENERS
Oklahoma was undefeated in its last five season openers (4-0-1) before losing to Washington on Friday. OU is 5-5-1 lifetime in the first game of the year, including a 3-3 mark on the road and a 1-2 record at neutral sites.
The last time the Oklahoma soccer team began a season with an 0-2 record was head coach Randy Evans’ first season, 1999. That team went 0-3 before winning its first game of the year against Oral Roberts. The first time the Sooners started a season 0-2 was in 1996, the program’s first year of competition. That squad went 0-13 (school record losing streak) before winning the season finale.
OU TABBED SIXTH IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
Oklahoma was picked to finish in sixth place in the Big 12 Conference, according to a coaches poll released by the league office.
Texas A&M was picked to win the 2006 Big 12 soccer championship after receiving seven of 11 first place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players) and totaled 97 points. Nebraska was chosen second with two first place votes and 83 points. Texas was a close third with two first place votes and 82 points.
The Sooners followed Colorado and Kansas at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, and were picked to finish ahead of Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor and Texas Tech.
2006 BIG 12 SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
1. Texas A&M (7) 97
2. Nebraska (2) 83
3. Texas (2) 82
4. Colorado 72
5. Kansas 69
6. Oklahoma 51
7. Oklahoma State 47
8. Missouri 42
9. Iowa State 31
10. Baylor 18
11. Texas Tech 13
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, restrooms and a ticket booth to give fans a complete family atmosphere for watching Division I soccer.
The Sooners will face seven teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament (Michigan State, Purdue, Colorado, Texas A&M, Texas, Iowa State and Nebraska) in 2006. Those teams each had 11 wins or more last year and combined to go 89-49-16 in 2005.
OU has never faced Purdue or Michigan State in regular season play. The Sooners will also play five other teams this season for the first time (Washington, Hawai’i, Michigan, Northern Iowa and Missouri State).
EVANS VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
In 2005, OU posted its best non-conference record (8-1, .889 winning percentage) in program history. The previous best was set by the 2001 team that went 7-1 (.875). 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 38-18-5 (.664) against non-conference opponents.
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 - Leads the Big 12 with 11 saves ... 20 saves shy of third place all-time at OU (Josie Miller - 163) ... Seven career shutouts rank third on OU's all-time list.
2 - Ashley Farrand -Saw first action as a Sooner on Aug. 28 against Hawai’i.
3 - Helen Ajufo - Has started all 22 games she has played in at OU ... In 2005, only freshman to play in every game throughout the season.
7 - Andrea Hurley - Started both games this season on defense ... Named to all-tournament team in Hawai’i ... 2005 member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team and District VI All-Academic Second Team.
9 - Savannah Scott - Has two shots in two starts this season ... In 2005, ranked second on the team in goals (7) ... Ranks fourth at OU with 17 career goals and fifth with 41 points.
10 - Kady Kelly - Scored fifth career goal in season opener against Washington ... Tied for team lead with four shots ... Named to all-tournament team in Hawai’i ... Including regular and preseason games in 2006, she has three goals and two assists.
11 - Shana All - Started both games this season ... 2005 member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team ... Tied her for fifth most in OU history with nine career assists.
12 - Lauren Harris - Has one shot in two starts this season.
13 - Daphne Fitzpatrick - Only freshman to make a start this season ... Made both starts in Hawai’i and was named to the all-tournament team.
14 - Jayme Seetin - Junior started first career game against Washington ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team.
15 - Christie Smeal - Made OU debut in 2005 season opener against Arkansas.
16 - Tenesha Duncan - Tied for the team lead with four shots ... Has come off the bench in both games this season ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
17 - Kate Marr - Has played in both games this season ... Made Sooner debut against Washington on Aug 26.
18 - Allyson Kucera - Has two shots in two starts this season ... Member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team ... Tied for ninth in OU history with nine career goals.
19 - Colleen Keester - Came off the bench in both games 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. Sister, Lindsey, also played at OU.
23 - Savannah Campbell -Made first appearance as a Sooner against Arkansas on Aug. 28, 2005 ... Also appeared against Western Michigan, Texas and Texas A&M.
24 - Katie Corbitt - Came off the bench in both games this season.
25 - Rebecca Nelson - Earned second team all-district honors in 2006 at Cedar Hill H.S. (Cedar Hill, Texas).
26 - Ashlee Coleman - Tallied six goals and eight assists last year at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, N.M.
28 - Kate Leyendecker - Made Sooner debut against Hawai’i.
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 - Scored first career goal against Oral Roberts (9/18/05).
44 - Traci Dickenson - Started both games this season on defense ... Started one game last season.
CENTRAL REGION POLLS
The Sooners opened the 2006 preseason as one of four teams receiving votes in the Soccer Buzz Central Region Poll. After one week of action, the Sooners remain in that same slot despite going 0-2. The NSCAA/adidas poll is the only other organization or publication that releases regional polls, but the first release of that poll is scheduled for Sept. 5. For complete rankings from the four national polls, please refer to page 5.
SOCCER BUZZ CENTRAL REGION POLL (Aug. 28)
Team Record Prev. Rank
1. Texas A&M 2-0-0 2
2. Tennessee 0-1-1 1
3. Mississippi 1-1-0 3
4. Saint Louis 0-1-0 4
5. Missouri 2-0-0 RV
6. SMU 1-1-0 6
7. Vanderbilt 0-0-2 5
8. Nebraska 0-0-1 7
9. Rice 2-0-0 9
10. Colorado 1-0-1 10
11. Texas 0-1-0 8
12. Kansas 1-0-0 11
13. Memphis 2-0-0 13
14. Oklahoma State 2-0-0 NR
15. North Texas 1-0-0 14
RV - LSU (0-1), Middle Tennessee State (1-0), OKLAHOMA (0-1)
The Sooners finished the preseason with a 2-0 mark after defeating TCU, 4-1, at home on Aug. 15 and topping North Texas, 3-2, on Aug. 18 in Denton.
Below is a look at the individual statistics throughout the preseason:
Daphne Fitzpatrick - 2
Shana All - 2
Kady Kelly - 2
Lauren Harris - 1
Kady Kelly - 2
Shana All - 1
Daphne Fitzpatrick - 1
Allyson Kucera - 1
Jennifer Nichols - 6