Soccer Opens 2010 with Bedlam Series

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 19, 2010

Aug. 19, 2010

Soccer (0-0) at No. 19 Oklahoma State (0-0)
 Game 1  Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.
 Location  Stillwater, Okla.  |  Cowgirl Soccer Complex 
 Internet  Live Stats | Live video and audio
 2010 Preview  Part One
 Game Info  2010 Media Guide | Weekly Releases

NORMAN, Okla. -- For the first time in the program's history, the Oklahoma Sooners will play two regular season games in The Bedlam Series, presented by Oklahoma Farm Bureau and The Oklahoman. The non-conference installment against No. 19/22 (Soccer America/NSCAA coaches) Oklahoma State will kick off the 2010 season on Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex in Stillwater, Okla.

This second Bedlam match-up is also the 2010 season finale and the game will count towards the Big 12 standings. On five occasions in the last nine years, the rivalry game has decided a potential bid in the conference tournament.

The 2006 season was the last and only time the two faced each other twice in the same year. OSU won both of those meetings, 2-1, with the second coming in the first round of the Big 12 Championship in San Antonio, Texas.

OSU returns 20 letterwinners and eight starters from the 2009 team that finished fifth in the Big 12 with a 5-5 mark. However, the Cowgirls finished the year ranked No. 13 after losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 15-7-2 overall record.

Senior midfielder Annika Niemeier, junior defender Melinda Mercado and sophomore goalkeeper Adrianna Franch were all named to the 2010 All-Big 12 preseason team. Niemeier led OSU with 11 goals scored a year ago, while Franch led the Big 12 with 11 shutouts. The Cowgirls were picked fourth in the preseason Big 12 coaches' poll and received one first-place vote.

Bedlam Series
OSU owns a 12-2-1 advantage in the series and has won each of the last five meetings, including the only postseason game between the two in 2006. In 15 all-time meetings, 11 games have been decided by one goal or less with OSU holding an 8-2-1 lead, including a 3-0-1 edge in overtime games.

In 2009, OSU won 3-0 in Stillwater to improve to 6-1-1 at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex against OU. OU's lone win in Stillwater came in 2005. The Sooners' other win in the series was in 2001 in Norman and they played in a scoreless tie in Stillwater in 2003.

On the Web
Fans can follow Friday's game on the web with links to live stats via the schedule page on In addition, will provide live video and audio for a fee through their its site.

Player to Watch - #8 Whitney Palmer, Senior, F | Plano, Texas
The only Sooner to lead Oklahoma outright in goals scored in three consecutive seasons, Palmer enters 2010 second on the Sooners' career goals scored list (29) and third in all-time points (61). In 2009, Palmer set the single-season goals (15) and points record (32) at OU and ranks in the top five of 11 other categories (single season or career) in school history.
2009 Key Stat: 15 goals ranked No. 12 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12 Conference

OU vs. OSU Series
OSU leads 12-2-1
Oct. 23, 2009, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 3, OU 0
Oct. 31, 2008, @ Norman, Okla. - OSU 4, OU 2
Nov. 1, 2007, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 2, OU 0
Nov. 1, 2006, @ San Antonio, Texas - OSU 2, OU 1
Sept. 15, 2006, @ Norman, Okla. - OSU 2, OU 1
Oct. 28, 2005, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OU 3, OSU 2
Oct. 29, 2004, @ Norman, Okla. - OSU 1, OU 0
Oct. 27, 2003, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OU 0, OSU 0 (2OT)
Nov. 1, 2002, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 3, OU 2
Nov. 2, 2001, @ Norman, Okla. - OU 2, OSU 1
Oct. 28, 2000, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 2, OU 1 (2OT)
Sept. 28, 1999, @ Norman, Okla. - OSU 1, OU 0
Sept. 18, 1998, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 2, OU 1 (OT)
Oct. 31, 1997, @ Norman, Okla. - OSU 1, OU 0 (2OT)
Sept. 29, 1996, @ Stillwater, Okla. - OSU 5, OU 1

Next Weekend
The Sooners remain on the road for their next contest, but stay in the state of Oklahoma for a game at Tulsa on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7:35 p.m. Two days later, OU hosts Stephen F. Austin in the 2010 home opener on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

Season Openers
OU is 6-2-1 in the last eight nine openers. The two defeats in that span came last year at Colorado College (L, 3-1) and in 2006 at Washington (L, 1-0). The tie occurred in 2004 against Saint Louis in Norman. OU is 7-6-1 lifetime in the first game of the year, including a 4-6 mark on the road. The last time OU opened a regular season slate on the road was in 2008, a 3-1 loss at Colorado College. Overall, OU is 7-6-1 in the first game played away from home.

Download 2010 OU Women's Soccer Virtual Guide | Click here for PDF format
The 2010 University of Oklahoma women's soccer virtual guide is now available on in PDF format.  Fans and media can download and print the first, full-color edition of the award-winning publication. The 100-page guide produced by the OU Athletics Communications Department, features updated player and coaching staff bios, a 2010 roster and season preview, opponent capsules and more. In addition, it contains a complete history of the Sooner soccer program including individual and team records, award winners, year-by-year statistics and all-time series records. Also new in 2010 are hyperlinks inserted throughout the publication linking fans and media to various links on and other web sites

Tough Competition
Oklahoma will play five games (four on the road) against teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament, including two contests against Oklahoma State, a team that advanced to the second round.

OU will also face USC (first round), Santa Barbara (first round) and Texas A&M (Sweet 16), all NCAA participants a year ago. In addition, OU faces five other squads that rattled off 10 or more wins a year ago.

Palmer Up For Lowe's Award
Oklahoma senior forward Whitney Palmer was one of 30 NCAA women's soccer student-athletes selected as candidates on Aug. 18 for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. A two-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree and member of the President and Dean's Honor Roll, Palmer has excelled on the field and already finds herself atop of five OU single season or career records.

Palmer Climbing OU Charts
Palmer already is among the program's most prolific goal scorers in OU history, currently ranking in the top five of 11 different offensive categories, including second place with 29 career goals. In 2009 against Tulsa, she became just the second player in school history to record a hat trick.

Below is a look at her OU records:

Career Records
2nd with 29 goals
3rd with 61 points
T-4th with six game-winning goals
5th with 162 shots

Single Season Records
1st with 15 goals in 2009
1st with 32 points in 2009
4th with eight goals in 2008
10th with 16 points in 2008
T-3rd with four game winners in 2007

Misc. Records
T-1st with three goals in a game
T-1st with goals in four consecutive games
T-1st with two assists in one game

Palmer Named Preseason All-Big 12
OU senior forward Whitney Palmer was named to the 2010 All-Big 12 soccer preseason team as voted on by the conference's coaches. The Plano, Texas, native is the first Sooner to be selected to the preseason team twice in her career after appearing on the list last season.

In 2009, Palmer became the first player in program history to lead the team outright in goals scored in three consecutive seasons after finishing the year with a school-record 15 scores. That total ranked 12th nationally and second in the Big 12 Conference.

Who's Back?
OU returns its top three scorers from 2009 in Whitney Palmer (15 goals and 2 assists), Dria Hampton (3 goals and 4 assists) and Michelle Alexander (2 goals and 3 assists). They combined for 49 of the 68 points last season (72 percent). In addition, Kelsey Devonshire played every minute in goal last season.

Exhibition Win
Sophomore Caitlin Mooney shined in her debut as a Sooner with three second half goals en route to a 6-1 OU victory over Northern Colorado in exhibition play on Aug. 13 at the OU Soccer Complex. Sophomore Dria Hampton, senior Whitney Palmer and freshman Zoe Dickson also scored in the victory.

Devonshire's Six Shutouts
In 2009, goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire set an OU freshman record with six shutouts. Devonshire logged every minute in goal and currently sits fourth all-time for shutouts in a career at OU. Below is a look at the list above her:

1 - Catharine Wade (2001-04) 18
2 - Jennifer Nichols (2004-07) 16
3 - Jana Cunningham (1999-2002) 11
4 - Kelsey Devonshire (2009-present) 6

Sooners Post 6-0 Mark in Spring
The Sooners finished the season at 2-1-2 after dropping their first game in the final weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., against Arizona State. OU played all but one of the five games on the road, a 5-1 win over Central Oklahoma. The Sooners also topped Memphis, 1-0, in Little Rock, Ark., and also tied Ole Miss that same weekend. The other tie came against Tulsa, 1-1, in a game played in Stillwater, Okla.

National Team Experience a Plenty
The additions of freshman Zoe Dickson, sophomore Caitlin Mooney and freshman Carrie Whigham gives OU six players with national team experience on the 2010 roster. Sophomore Dria Hampton and senior Whitney Palmer (U.S.) and Katharine Nutman (England) complete the list.

In February, Whigham captained the U-18 U.S. National Team in a tournament in Spain. Whigham is the lone freshman expected to start on opening day in 2010.

New Coaching Additions
Head coach Nicole Nelson added two members to the coaching staff in 2010. George Van Linder was named the associate head coach after serving the last two years at the helm of the Stephen F. Austin program, where Nelson was also the head coach for the three years prior. Van Linder and Nelson worked together at Baylor in 2005 as a head coach and assistant coach, respectively.

Trae Manny was named an assistant coach at OU in 2010 and worked with SFA with Van Linder the last two years. Manny played soccer at the University of Louisville.

Hampton Named Big Sky Player of the Year
Oklahoma sophomore midfielder Dria Hampton was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) on Aug. 3.

Hampton led Oklahoma Alliance F.C., with five goals scored, including the game winner that placed her team in the league's semifinals. She was one of eight current Sooners (Michelle Alexander, Lauren Alkek, Bailey Boulware, Kelsey Devonshire, Caitlin Mooney and Amy Petrikin) that came up one game short of appearing in the WPSL Championship game. Hampton was also named to the all-tournament team.

Nine Home Webcasts in 2010
OU soccer fans can catch all the action from each of the Sooners' nine home games in 2010 on Oklahoma All-Access,'s premium site. Links to live stats and webcasts can be found on the Sooner Soccer schedule page.




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