NORMAN, Okla. -- For the fourth time in the program’s ten-year history, the Oklahoma soccer team (13-5-1 overall, 5-4-1 Big 12) will make an appearance in the 2005 Big 12 Championship against Colorado (10-6-3, 6-3-1). The annual postseason tournament will be held in San Antonio, Texas, at the Blossom Soccer Stadium and the Sooners’ first round action will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m.
The Sooners, 1-4-0 lifetime in the postseason, clinched the tournament’s No. 7 seed Friday with Missouri’s 3-2 overtime loss at Kansas. OU then defeated Oklahoma State, 3-2, later in the day in Stillwater, Okla., to conclude the 2005 regular season and carry some important momentum into the postseason. Colorado enters the Big 12 Championship as the No. 2 seed and it is coming off a 5-0 victory over Texas Tech on Oct. 28.
OU made its last appearance in the Big 12 Championship during the 2003 season, a year that also saw the team make its debut in the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners failed to make the postseason a year ago when OSU handed them a 1-0 loss in Norman in the season finale.
Colorado was the No. 3 seed last season and advanced to the semifi nals before dropping a 3-1 decision to eventual champion Texas A&M.
The last time OU and Colorado met was a month ago in Norman. The two battled to a 1-1 tie for 90 minutes before junior Savannah Scott netted the game-winner six minutes and 46 seconds into overtime. The win extended the Sooners’ winning streak to a school-record nine games. Scott also assisted on the Sooners’ fi rst goal of the game, scored by senior Michelle Enos, while Colorado’s lone goal came on a penalty kick. In that game, CU led 20-16 in shots but OU held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The first round game marks the tenth meeting in the series between the Sooners and Buffaloes. The series is tied at 4-4-1 and the teams have played in fi ve contests decided by a goal, in addition to a double-overtime scoreless tie in 2003.
The Buffaloes, led by senior forward Fran Munnelly, are 5-1-1 since their 2005 trip to Norman and they have scored 15 goals in those seven games. CU’s lone loss in that span, a 2-1 contest at Texas A&M, came after it rattled off four consecutive wins over Texas, Northern Colorado, Missouri and Kansas. After the defeat, the Buffs played in a scoreless tie at Baylor and most recently topped Texas Tech, 5-0, on Sunday in Lubbock, Texas.
Munnelly, the program’s fi rst All-American, is the team’s offensive leader with eight goals, five assists and 48 shots (24 on goal). She is joined in double-digit points by junior Katie Griffi n (nine goals), freshman Nikki Keller (four goals, three assists) and sophomore Allison Kidd (three goals, four assists).
In goal, senior Jessica Keller (8-5-2) was the team’s starter until she suffered a broken ankle in the win over Kansas. Keller was replaced in that game by freshman Kirstin Radlinski, who has played well with starts in the last three games. In six games played this year, Radlinski is 2-1-1 with a 0.45 goals-against average and two shutouts. She has made 22 saves and allowed just two goals.
The winner of Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. game will face the winner of the last game of the day between No. 3 Iowa State and No. 6 Texas. Tickets for the Big 12 Soccer Championship are available through Ticketmaster statewide in Texas, on the web (www.sanantoniosports.org/events_soccer.htm) and will also be on sale at the Blossom Soccer Stadium box offi ce on game days.
Despite falling behind 1-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game, the OU soccer team (13-5-1 overall, 5-4-1 Big 12) rallied with two first-half goals (four minutes apart from each other) and a late goal from Lauren MacIver to defeat Oklahoma State (10-6-3, 3-6-1), 3-2, at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex on Friday. The Sooners clinched a spot in the program’s fourth Big 12 Championship with Missouri’s 3-2 double overtime loss at Kansas earlier in the day.
OU LEADS BIG 12 IN ACADEMIC HONORS
A day before the 2005 Big 12 Soccer Championship begins in San Antonio, Texas, the conference office announced on Tuesday the Academic All-Big 12 Teams. The Oklahoma soccer team led all Big 12 schools with 12 honorees, including 11 first-team members. Among the Sooners named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team were seniors Michelle Enos, Hollee Fink, Jenny Jones, Christy Kenkel, and Lindsey Pulat, junior Andrea Hurley and sophomores Shana All, Tenesha Duncan, Colleen Keester, Allyson Kucera and Jennifer Nichols. Sophomore Jayme Seetin was the lone second-team honoree.
MACIVER NAMED TO ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Senior captain Lauren MacIver was named a member of the All-Big 12 First Team as announced by the conference office on Monday. The midfielder's success on the field has been one of the keys to OU enjoying the best year in school history. The Tulsa, Okla., native is the second Sooner in the program's history to reach first-team status. In 2001, Logan Womack became the first player to achieve that feat. MacIver, a two-time Second Team All-Big 12 honoree, is coming off her best regular season in a Sooner uniform in 2005. Eleven of her 24 points have come during Big 12 play (four goals and three assists).
Nine different Sooners have scored goals this season, including five players with five or more goals. In 2004, ten different players managed to score a goal but only four posted two or more goals. In addition, the 2005 Sooner offense has six different players with 10 or more points (program high), besting the 2002 team that featured five Sooners with double-digit points. In 2005, OU has outscored the opposition 33-7 in its 13 wins this season (2.54 goals per game).
In addition to the school-record nine-game winning streak, the 2005 Sooners have won more games than any previous OU team in the program’s ten-year history. Before this season, the 2001 and 2002 Sooners held that honor with 11. Additionally, OU also enjoyed its first record above .500 (5-4-1) in conference play and the most wins in Big 12 action. The Sooners also recorded the best start in school history (11-1-1). The previous best was established by the 2001 and 2002 teams, who both started its respective seasons 6-1. The 2005 Sooners have also recorded more goals (37), assists (40) and points than any previous Sooner squad.
Lauren MacIver continues to add onto her career year after topping all of her previous highs at the midpoint of the season. She leads the team in goals (8), assists (8) and points (24). MacIver recorded her second two-goal performance and first since 2002 with the two goals against Oklahoma State (10/28). MacIver’s second goal gave her the fourth game-winner of the season and seventh of her career (tied with all-time lead with Logan Womack). With an assist versus Texas A&M (10/14), MacIver tied the single season assist record held by Krissy Dawson with eight helpers. MacIver, OU’s career leader in assists with 18, is third all-time on the single season list with 24 points (Krissy Dawson, 26 in 2002 and Logan Womack, 27 in 2001). On Friday, Sept. 16, she became the first Sooner to score a goal in four consecutive games after OU defeated Tulsa. Only six other players have scored goals in three consecutive games in school history. MacIver ranks third on both OU’s career list in points (54) and goals (18).
Junior Savannah Scott established a career high on 10/21 vs. Nebraska with her seventh goal of the season. Scott ranks second on the team goals and in points this season with 16. Scott led OU in goals scored a season ago, with six tallies. Scott has recorded 13 points in the last 12 games. The Norman, Okla., native is fourth on OU’s all-time goals scored list (16) and she also is tied for fifth in career points (41).
WINNING STREAK ENDS
The Sooners were riding a school-record nine-game winning streak before its tie at Missouri on Oct. 7. The ten-game unbeaten streak then ended two days later at the hands of Kansas. The winning streak started in Iowa (9/4) where OU topped the Hawkeyes, 2-0. During the unbeaten streak, OU outscored the opposition 25-5, including five shutouts. This year’s winning streak of nine games broke the mark set by the 2002 team that opened the season with a perfect 6-0 record.
NICHOLS SHUTTING OUT THE OPPOSITION
HOME SWEET HOME
After playing three of the first four games of the 2005 slate on the road, OU finished the home portion of the 2005 schedule with a school-record 9-1 mark. The Sooners’ lone blemish of the home season came against then-No. 19 Texas A&M. OU outscored the opposition 24-9 at home this season, including a 201-103 advantage in shots. Including this year’s 9-1 mark at home, the Sooners are 46-26-7 (.627) lifetime in Norman.
ASSISTS ALL AROUND
After 19 regular season games, the Sooners have recorded 40 assists. That total is more than double the 17 assists recorded in 18 games all of last season by OU. The 40 helpers is also a school record for assists recorded in a season by an OU team (topping the 35 set it 1998). In addition, 14 different Sooners have contributed assists this season and ten players have recorded two or more assists.
In 2004, then-freshmen Lauren Harris (assist) and Tenesha Duncan (goal and assist), each regulars on the field, combined for four points. In 2005 after 19 games, the two have combined for 23 points. Duncan is third on the team in points (13) and tied for third in goals (5). Harris’ 10 points are good for sixth best on the team and she is tied for third on the team in assists (4) and fourth in goals (3).
After experiencing a solid season on the road a year ago, the Sooners have struggled on road with a 3-4-1 mark. OU is also 1-0 this season at neutral sites (4-0 victory over ORU in Stillwater, Okla.). In true road games, OU has scored nine goals to the oppositions’ 14.
CORNERING THE OPPOSITION
The Sooners have taken 101 corner kicks this season (5.4 per game), opposite the 65 taken by their opponents (3.4 per game). OU is 10-3 when leading a game in corner kicks, and 3-2-1 when trailing the opposition.
OU has outshot the competition by a significant margin after 19 games (343-250) and is 11-0 when recording more shots than the opposition. The Sooners have trailed in the shot count in eight games this season (Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Iowa State) and they are 2-5-1 in those contests. Against East Carolina (9/11), OU recorded the fourth highest shot total (34) in program history. It was the most shots fired by an OU team since the 2001 team tallied 36 against Drury. The school record for shots in a game is 51, recorded against Louisiana State (1999). OU also had 40 shots against Drury in 1997. On the other side of the field, the OU defense limited Texas State (9/23) to three shots, the fewest by an OU opponent since Drury fired two against the Sooners on Sept. 7, 2001. OU also held Oral Roberts to two shots in the previous game that same season.
After posting three goals and one assist in her first three seasons at OU, senior Michelle Enos is enjoying career highs in her final year. With a goal against Texas A&M, Enos is tied for third on the team in goals scored with five. Enos also has an assist this season and is fifth on the team in points with 11.
KUCERA IS KEY
Sophomore midfielder Allyson Kucera continues to make things happen when she is on the field. She is tied for third on the team in goals with five and tied for third in points with 13. She recorded her first career assist against Texas State (9/23). After 36 career games at OU, Kucera already has nine goals (tied for 9th in OU history). The Pearland, Texas, native scored two goals in the Sooners win over Arkansas, a single-game high. Kucera’s first goal against Arkansas marked the second game-winning goal in her collegiate career.
Two freshmen, Katie Corbitt and Helen Ajufo, have combined for 29 starts this season for OU. Ajufo has started every contest and Corbitt has missed just seven starts (one game overall). In addition, Traci Dickenson has seen time in all but three contests. Corbitt, a midfielder, scored her first career goal, a game winner, against Saint Louis in overtime in the season opener and recorded her first career assist against Western Michigan (9/9). Ajufo and Dickenson have both seen action on defense, primarily in the left back position.
OU’s offensive outburst in the first half against Oral Roberts (9/28) marked the fifth time in school history that an OU team had tallied four scores in a half (last was Sept. 27, 2002 vs. Baylor in Norman).