Road to Big 12 glory begins for fifth-seeded Oklahoma against fourth-seeded Texas
-- Oklahoma (7-8-4, 3-3-2) enters the 2012 Big 12 Championships as the fifth seed and is set for a Red River Rivalry showdown against fourth-seeded Texas (7-10-1, 4-4) Wednesday, Oct. 31, in the conference tournament's quarterfinals at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. First touch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT.
Fans can follow live stats and a webcast for Wednesday's game on Big12Sports.com.
The winner of Wednesday's match moves on to the semifinals where it will meet either top-seeded West Virginia or eighth-seeded TCU Friday, Nov. 2, at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Big 12 Championship History
OU is 3-6-1 in its 10 matches and seven previous appearances in the Big 12 Championship . 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 be squaring off in conference tournament quarterfinals 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.
Player to Watch
#10 Renae Cuellar| Sr. | F | La Puente, Calif. (Los Altos HS)
Renae Cuellar garnered Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors,as voted on by the league's head coaches. Cuellar, who became the first student-athlete in the 16-year history of the OU soccer program to garner such distinction, also earned spots on the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. She leads the Sooners with 26 points from a team-high 12 goals, which ranks as the third-most in a single season in OU history.
Last Time Against Texas
Oklahoma soccer battled with Texas for 90 minutes but came up short in a 1-0 loss on Sunday, Sept. 23, at John Crain Field.
Texas scored less than 10 minutes into the game when a well-placed corner kick dropped in front of the Sooner goal. Sharis Lachapelle rose up out of the crowd, heading in the crossing ball in for her fourth goal of the season for the Longhorns.
Oklahoma managed eight shots, but only two were on the frame of the goal. Kelsey Devonshire stopped five shots for the Sooners.
OU's Molly Richey led all players with four shots while Renae Cuellar and Samantha Howell each had a shot on goal for the Sooners.
Oklahoma's best chances came late in the game on back-to-back corner kick tries by Cuellar with just under 15 minutes left in the second half. Both threats were turned away, including a header by Abby Hodgen that was sent toward goal before being blocked away by a Texas defender.
OU trails in the all-time series against Texas, 10-7-1.
Gotta Like Our Chances If...
Statistics don't always tell the whole story, but Oklahoma will have a good shot to advance in the 2012 Big Championship if the following happens:
The Sooners score first: Oklahoma is 5-0-1 when tallying the first goal of a match.
The Sooners score three or more goals: Oklahoma is 4-0-0 when posting at least three goals in a match.
The Sooners lead at the half: Oklahoma is 4-0-1 when holding the advantage at the break.
The Sooners hold the opposition scoreless in the first half: Oklahoma is 4-2-1 when the opponent is kept off the scoreboard in the first 45 minutes of play.
Heating Up At The Right Time
Oklahoma is riding a wave of positive momentum into the 2012 Big 12 Championship.
The Sooners closed the regular season by winning three of their final four matches to clinch the fifth seed in the conference tournament.
OU recorded back-to-back Big 12 victories at John Crain Field, blanking Kansas, 1-0, on Oct. 12, then topping TCU, 3-1, on Oct. 14. The Sooners suffered a 2-0 road setback at the hands of then-No. 23 West Virginia on Oct. 18, but bounced back by shutting down Iowa State, 3-0, last Friday in the regular season finale
First-year head coach Matt Potter's seven victories in 2012 rank as the most by a rookie head coach in OU history.
Cuellar and History
Senior Renae Cuellar -- the 2012 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year -- has 12 goals this season, which ranks as the third-most goals in a season in OU history. The La Puente, Calif., native also posted 13 shots at Oklahoma State, the most shots in a game in school history.
Cuellar, who leads the Sooners with 26 points from a team-high 12 goals and two assists, also earned spots on the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team after pacing the conference with 13 points from six goals in eight Big 12 matches
Cuellar, who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week twice this season, earned national honors when she was named Disney Soccer/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Player of the Week after scoring game-winning goals against Kansas and TCU.
More on Cuellar
Renae Cuellar was recently selected to play with the Mexican National Team and will travel with the team to Brazil this December.
Cuellar previously participated on Mexico's 2011 World Cup team that played in Germany in addition to playing for Mexico in the U-20 Women's World Cup in 2010, scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over England in group play. She also found the back of the net in a 3-3 draw with Japan.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire made four saves in last Friday's 3-0 win at Iowa State 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).
Devonshire set an OU career record against Baylor on Sept. 21, becoming the Sooners' all-time saves leader. Devonshire currently sits at 385 career saves.