The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma women’s soccer team completed a sweep last week.
After winning the Sooner Athletic Conference in the regular season, the Drovers swept through the conference tournament to win the title for the third season in a row. USAO defeated Wayland Baptist University 7-2 in the championship match, held in Chickasha.
The Drovers rolled in their three tournament matches, outscoring opponents 22-3 throughout tournament play. They have scored seven goals or more in each of their last four matches.
USAO (20-1) clinched an automatic berth to the national tournament and will enter the tournament having won its last 10 matches. During that streak, USAO has outscored its opponents 68-6.
The NAIA seeded USAO No. 10 in the national tournament and gave the Drovers the opportunity to play in Chickasha. USAO will play at Chickasha’s Hampton Field on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and University of the Southwest.
The Drovers enter the national tournament ranked at the top — or near it — in several statistical categories within the NAIA.
USAO ranks first in the NAIA in goals per game and goals scored this season. The Drovers have scored 120 goals in 21 matches, good for an average of 5.71 goals per game.
USAO also ranks first in the NAIA in assists, assists per game and other categories.
USAO's defense has also caused problems. The Drovers have allowed just nine goals this season and have earned 13 shutouts.
Individually, sophomore Emma Rice has helped lead the Drovers with a standout season. Rice ranks fourth in several categories in the NAIA, including goals (37) and points (84).
Rice not only gained first-team All-SAC honors, but she was also named Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year by the league.