NORMAN, Okla.-- The University of Oklahoma soccer team locked down the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Conference Championship by shutting down Iowa State, 3-0, Friday in the 2012 regular season finale at Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa.
The OU (7-8-4, 3-3-2) victory over ISU (10-10, 1-7) sets up a Red River Rivalry showdown against No. 4-seeded Texas next Wednesday, Oct. 31, in the conference tournament's first round at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. First touch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT. For tickets to the 2012 Big 12 Soccer Championship, visit sanantoniosports.org or call (210) 820-2100.
The Longhorns posted a 1-0 triumph over the Sooners on Sept. 23 in Norman, but Oklahoma enters the Big 12 Tournament having won three of its final four regular season matches.
Oklahoma's seven victories under head coach Matt Potter are the most by a first-year soccer head coach in OU history. The win in Ames marked Oklahoma's first road triumph of the 2012.
"To end the regular season with a shutout and multiple goals is a wonderful way to go into San Antonio," said Potter. "I am pleased with the positive momentum and proud of the staff and team for the way they have prepared and performed in these last four games."
The Sooners set the tone for the win over the Cyclones with two first-half goals. Eleven of OU's 15 shots were on goal. Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire made four saves to help post her third shutout of the 2012 season and 17th of her career, which ranks as the second most in Oklahoma history behind Catherine Wade's 18 (2001-04).
The Sooners struck in the third minute when OU senior Renae Cuellar found junior Annalisa Hall for her first goal of the season.
Oklahoma upped its advantage to two goals just before the end of the first half as junior Samantha Howell tallied her second goal of the season off of an assist from junior Zoe Dickson.
The Sooners put the contest out of reach in the 60th minute thanks to Cuellar's team-leading 12th goal of the season that came courtesy of an assist from senior Katharine Nutman. Cuellar's 12 goals are the third-most in a single season in OU history.
OU will be taking aim at its first Big 12 Championship and third NCAA Tournament appearance in the 16-year history of the soccer program. The Sooners and Longhorns will besquaring off in conference tournament first-round action for the third time. History is on the side of the Crimson & Cream, as Oklahoma knocked off Texas, 2-0, on Nov. 1, 2000, in its first Big 12 Championship contest, then blanked the then-No. 21 Longhorns again, 1-0, on Nov. 3, 2010 en route to reaching the conference final that season.
"How fitting we are matched with Texas," said Potter. "A rivalry game and a true test for us. We will prepare accordingly and look forward to the Big 12 Championship experience."
2012 Big 12 Soccer Championship
Oct. 31, Nov. 2 & 4
San Antonio, Texas - Blossom Soccer Complex
Wednesday, Oct. 31
Game 1: No. 4 Texas vs. No. 5 Oklahoma, 11:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 6 Kansas, 2:00 p.m.
Game 3: No. 1 West Virginia vs. No. 8 TCU, 5:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 2
Game 5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3, 5:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 4, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 4
Game 7: Big 12 Championship, Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6, 1:10 p.m., FSN