Oct. 21, 1999

Nebraska at Oklahoma

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m., CDT

Iowa State at Oklahoma

Sunday, Oct. 24, 1 p.m., CDT

Sooners Close Home Slate
The Oklahoma women's soccer team concludes its 1999 home schedule with a pair of games Friday and Sunday at Norman North High School. The Sooners face the tough task of playing Nebraska Friday at 6 p.m. The Huskers are ranked fourth in the nation and will clinch the Big 12 title if they beat OU and Texas A&M beats Missouri Friday. Oklahoma hosts Iowa State Sunday at 1 p.m. in its final home contest of the year.

About the Opponents
Nebraska enters Friday's matchup with a 14-1-1 overall record and 7-0 Big 12 mark. The Huskers, undefeated in eight straight games, have lost only to Santa Clara, 2-1. Not including that loss and its tie at Clemson, Nebraska has outscored its opponents 61-7 on the year. The Huskers are led in scoring by sophomore midfielder Meghan Anderson. She has racked up 32 points thanks to 13 goals and six assists in 16 games. Junior midfielder Jenny Benson ranks second on the squad with 22 points (5 goals and a team-high 12 assists). All told, nine Huskers total 10 or more points on the season.

Iowa State heads into weekend action with an impressive 10-5 overall record and stands in seventh place in the Big 12 with a 3-4 mark. The Cyclones split a pair of home games last weekend, losing to Missouri Friday, 4-3, and blanking Kansas Sunday, 2-0. Sophomore Erica Florez leads the team with 24 points on nine goals and six assists. Fellow midfielder Krista Odenwalk, a junior, ranks second with 15 points (4 goals and 7 assists). Iowa State has outscored its foes by a 35-20 count this year.

Hixson, Richmond Wrapping Up Collegiate Careers
OU's lone seniors, Natalie Hixson and Ashlee Richmond will make their final appearances in Norman this weekend, and the pair will be honored Sunday prior to the Iowa State match.

Hixson, the only current Sooner who played for Oklahoma in its inaugural season of 1996, is the program's career leader in games played (58) and games started (48). The Richardson, Texas, native has served as a steady force in the midfield during her career and has six career assists at OU, including a team-high four in 1997.

Richmond, who transferred to Oklahoma from TCU following her sophomore season, ranked third on the team in scoring last year with 16 points on six goals and four assists. Two of her scores were game-winners. This season, the Edmond native has made the switch to defender and has helped limit opponents to 1.9 goals per outing.

Recapping Last Week
Oklahoma lost its seventh and eighth one-goal decisions of the season last week in Norman against Baylor and Texas Tech. On Friday, the Sooners played a scoreless first half against the Bears before surrendering a goal in the 51st minute. Sooner redshirt-freshman Shannon Wing scored her first collegiate goal 12 minutes later to knot the game at 1-1, but Gina Castellano's goal in the 84th minute sealed the win for Baylor.

On Sunday, Texas Tech handed the Sooners a 1-0 loss on a cold and windy day that saw Oklahoma host U.S. World Cup team member Cindy Parlow. OU outshot the Red Raiders, 7-4, in the first half and once again did not allow a goal in the opening 45 minutes of action. Tech's Carrie Graham scored the lone goal in the 65th minute.

"Sure, all the close losses have been difficult to swallow, but we have to keep plugging away," said OU Head Coach Randy Evans. "I've said it before and I'll say it again: we are playing well. I'm extremely pleased with how everyone has stuck together. We are without some of our better players (injuries), but we haven't made any excuses. We'll continue to go out and battle until the end."