Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

September 21, 2012

Nutman, OU set to clash with Baylor

NORMAN — Katharine Nutman’s time with the Oklahoma soccer program is nearing an end. After tonight’s game with Baylor, the Southend, England, native will have eight regular season games remaining in her Sooner career.

In that time, Nutman has learned a variety of lessons since coming to the United States. None has been important than just how different soccer is in her home country compared to the United States.

“It’s a lot more athletic here,” Nutman said. “A lot more physical. Obviously, people back home watch the game a lot more. There is a bigger love for the game. People grow up knowing about the game. But here it’s definitely more athletic. Bigger and faster girls.”

When former OU coach Nicole Nelson recruited Nutman to Norman in 2009 she was only 16 years old. However, she had a wealth of international experience on the pitch. She captained the England U-15 National Team and played for her country in the 2009 European Qualifiers for U-17s.

But Nutman, who a defender, said she has grown just as much in her time with the Sooners.

“I think I’ve improved to a certain extent,” Nutman said. “It’s a very different game here, so I’ve had to adapt to that since I’ve come here. I think I’ve managed to do that. It’s been really great to have this opportunity to be here and get an education at the same time as doing something I love. I think it’s been good.”

Nutman hopes the time she has left will be even better.

It begins at 7 tonight when the Sooners play host to Baylor (8-1-1) in both team’s Big 12 Conference opener at John Crain Field

The Sooners (4-4-2) are coming off a 3-0 loss at SMU. The defeat came on the heals of a 1-1 tie to Rice.

“We’ve had people with significant minutes now have days off to kind of regroup and get themselves back into it,” Nutman said. “Everyone looks good. We are kind of excited to have kind of a clean sheet with conference play. I think we are excited to play Baylor, and we should play well this weekend.”

The Sooners also face Texas (3-6-1) on Sunday. After that they will only have two home games left in their season.

“It’s been an experience,” Nutman said. “I’ve had to learn a lot and learn quickly. I came here when I was a little bit younger than most people. It was hard to transition. But I got there in the end. Looking to have fun this last year and hopefully achieve something good.”

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