Oklahoma (4-9-1) looks to pick up its first Big 12 win of the season as it takes on Kansas (7-8-1) in Norman on Thursday.
The Sooners enter Thursday’s game against the Jayhawks having lost 2-0 to No. 13 TCU (11-2-1) in Fort Worth on Oct. 7. Highlighting OU’s loss to the Horned Frogs was the play of senior goalkeeper Nikki Panas, who totaled seven saves on the night.
Kansas is coming off back-to-back wins over No. 9 West Virginia and No. 23 Baylor. The Jayhawks won both matchups 2-1. They have won their last four meetings with Sooners, and currently have an intraconference record of 2-4.
Four of Oklahoma’s five straight losses have been intraconference matchups, bringing their conference record to 0-4. Leading the charge to snap that streak for the Sooners on Thursday will be senior forwards Jazzy Richards and Bri Amos. Amos transferred to Oklahoma from Kansas in 2020.
Richards leads the Sooners’ offense in goals this season with four. Amos has three goals on the year so far and three assists to tack on. Freshman forward Ella Pappas is close behind with two goals and two assists on the season including a game-winning goal in double overtime against Nebraska (4-2-8) on Aug. 29.
Panas has been on fire for Oklahoma this year, picking up 41 saves in only 12 games. Panas’ work around the goal will be a big factor in Thursday’s matchup, as the Jayhawks come into the game averaging just over one goal per contest.
The Sooners depth does not end there. Oklahoma brings with it a handful of freshmen including Pappas, forward Leonie Weber, and defender Sheridan Michel that proved early in the season they want to make a difference.
Sooners head coach Mark Carr is enthusiastic for his young team, and will rely heavily on them on Thursday’s matchup with Kansas.
"We have high expectations for OU soccer and the 2021 class will be expected to impact the program right away and provide immediate competition," Carr said in a press release. "Here at OU, we love and embrace competition as we know this will only bring out the best in all of us. By adding this class to our core group of returners, the future is bright for soccer here at OU."
Oklahoma’s match with Kansas will kickoff at John Crain Field at 7 p.m. Thursday. Afterwards, the Sooners will remain in Norman to host Kansas State (6-6-2) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17.