NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma women’s soccer team was picked to finish in sixth place in the Big 12 Conference, according to a coaches poll released by the league office on Tuesday.
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.
Oklahoma, which returns eight starters from last season, is led by a trio of seniors with Andrea Hurley, Kady Kelly and Savannah Scott returning with plenty of starting experience.
In 2005, OU finished 13-6-1 and 5-4-1 in Big 12 play and set program records for wins (overall and consecutive), goals, assists and points. Despite the loss of senior captain Lauren MacIver, the team’s leading scorer, the offense in 2006 returns more than 65 percent of its production from a year ago. Additionally, the defense returns three Sooners with starting experience as well as goalkeeper Jennifer Nichols, who played every minute in the net in 2005.
Oklahoma hosts TCU in the first preseason game of the fall on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. The contest is open to the public and admission is free.
The Sooners open the regular season in Hawai’i against Washington on Aug. 26 before facing host Hawai’i on Aug. 28. The Sooners will host Michigan in the home opener on Sept. 1 and begin Big 12 play at home against Oklahoma State on Sept. 15.
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