(Courtesy University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Sports Information. The parenthetical comments are mine alone.)

CHICKASHA – Not just one, but two USAO Drovers stood out among conference opponents as playing exceptional soccer last week — and became Sooner Athletic Conference Players of the Week.

Both Calli (“DB“) Cooper and Nikola Cakarevic (One half of Drover soccer’s “NC Hammer” duo along with Niall Crick, as readers of this blog will recall) were honored with Offensive Player of the Week. (Balladeer’s note: When Nikola scores a goal the Drover fans should chant Niiiiiiiiiiiiikolaaaaaaaaaa like in those old Ricola ads)

Calli Cooper, a sophomore from Norman, shined with back-to-back hat tricks (and hat-to-hat back tricks – rimshot) and four assists in the two games the Drovers played last week, first against the Bethel College Threshers and then the Tabor College Bluejays a few days later.

“Calli I feel is just starting to play to her potential this season,” Hampton said.

Cooper is by far the team’s leading scorer this season. She’s made more than 50 percent of her shots on goal so far in 2010, and she is eighth in the division in goals per game (1.5) and in points per game (3.83). Additionally, she’s 10th in total points with 23. She’s also ranked in the top 30 in seven other categories. (And the Top 7 in 30 other categories)

This season, Cooper has scored nine goals and had five assists.

With seven goals in two games, Cakarevic was crucial in the Drovers’ wins this week. In addition to tying his own school record with five goals in a game against Tabor College on Friday, (Five goals being more than some teams have scored so far this season) Cakarevic scored two of USAO’s three goals against Bethel College days before. He scored the team’s game-winning goal against Bethel. (Any odds on how long it will be before he marries a Spice Girl?)

He has scored 11 goals already for USAO and is third in the division in goals per game (1.67) and points per game (3.5). He’s also seventh in total goals (10) and ranked in the top 30 in four other categories. (And the Top 4 in 30 other- oh, sorry, I used that joke already)

“Nikola had a great week,” Hampton said. “He is an exceptional player, and we look forward to him continuing his success in SAC play.” (Don’t go there!)

The Drover men are undefeated (6-0) and ranked No. 10 in the country going into Tuesday’s game against conference rivals the Oklahoma City University  Stars . The women are 4-1-1 overall.

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