Sooners Shut Out Iowa State To Sweep Road Trip
AMES, Iowa -- Two wins, two shut-outs, and a 2-0 conference start made up a stellar weekend for the Oklahoma soccer team.
Less than two days after knocking off No. 10 Texas Tech on the road in Lubbock, OU went back on the road and topped Iowa State 1-0 off a game-winner from junior Laura Rayfield. The Sooners avoided a letdown after an emotional victory against TTU, overcoming a long travel day to rise to 8-3-2 on the season and 2-0-0 in conference action.
With the victory, Oklahoma has its first 2-0 start to Big 12 play since 2005. The Sooners are 3-1 this season against ranked teams and 2-1 against teams ranked within the top-10 nationally.
Oklahoma took an edge on possession in the first half but couldn't quite capitalize with scoring threats in the box. The Sooners took four shots to ISU's seven in the first half, with only one shot on goal.
Devin Barrett and Rasha Roberts were the lone Sooners to break through Iowa State's defense and create big chances in the first half. Each drove down the left side in the final minutes of the half, taking shots in the box to challenge ISU.
It was Rayfield who would capitalize off a free kick opportunity and give Oklahoma the lead right out of the gates in the second half. Rayfield brought out a free kick next to the box on the left side, chipping the ball in through a gaggle of players and bouncing it past ISU's goalkeeper to put OU up 1-0 in the 47th minute of play.
Oklahoma's defense began to stifle the Cyclones, despite ISU's best efforts to pour forward and create a chance for an equalizing goal. The Sooners used offensive opportunity to play defense as well, repeatedly bursting through the ISU defense and forcing the Cyclones to make big plays or saves to clear the ball.
The Sooners bled down the clock in the final minutes, playing keep-away and maintaining possession to let their 1-0 lead stand as the final score. The victory also marks the first time since 2005 that Oklahoma has shut out both of its opponents in its first two conference matches.
The Sooners return to Norman next weekend for their Big 12 home opener, welcoming Baylor and TCU to John Crain Field. Oklahoma will face the Lady Bears on Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. before challenging the Horned Frogs on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast live by Sooner Sports TV.
Cowgirls Battle No. 9 Texas Tech To Draw
LUBBOCK, Texas – Oklahoma State picked up a key point in the Big 12 Conference standings Sunday afternoon as the Cowgirls earned a 1-1 draw against ninth-ranked Texas Tech at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
With Sunday's result, the Cowgirls are now 6-7-1 overall and 1-1-1 in conference play. Texas Tech is 10-2-1 and 0-2-1 in the league.
Injuries continued to plague OSU as starting defenders Kelsey Bass and Nikki McKnight were unable to play, but the remaining Cowgirls were up to the challenge defensively. TTU recorded 24 shots to just eight for the Cowgirls and held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks, but OSU goalie Rosa Medina recorded seven saves.
“Coming to Lubbock to play a top 10 team like Texas Tech with your full squad is going to be very, very difficult, but losing Kelsey (Bass) and Nikki (McKnight) on Friday just made it a little bit more difficult,” said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. “We changed our shape a little bit, we went a little bit more defensive to frustrate (TTU) and hit them on the break, and from our standpoint it's what we had to do to get a positive result. And we're pleased to get that.
“Also, we called our team out on Friday about being a little bit tougher and playing hard for 90 minutes, and they certainly did that. Overall, we go home pretty happy.”
TTU tested the Cowgirls' defense early, with two shots on goal and a pair of corner kicks in the first seven minutes. In the 17th minute, Medina made a great save on a shot by Jaelene Hinkle as she dove to her right for the stop, then OSU dodged another bullet in the 20th minute when a header by Paige Strahan deflected off the crossbar.
OSU took the game's first lead in the 23rd minute. Natalie Calhoun sent a long pass ahead to Courtney Dike, who beat a Tech defender to the ball and delivered a shot from 15-yards out to the far post to put the Cowgirls up, 1-0. The goal was the second of the season for Dike, while Calhoun notched her first assist.
“It was a great goal – that's what Courtney is really good at,” Carmichael said. “When we sit in and look to counter, she's very fast and powerful and able to get in and fight off a defender and finish it. It was big for the team to get on the positive side of the scoreboard early.”
The Red Raiders' string of near misses continued in the 31st minute when on a 22-yard free kick, Caity Heap blasted a shot that caromed off the post. Less than three minutes later, Heap once again delivered an attempt that missed off the crossbar.
OSU would take the 1-0 lead into intermission. Despite getting outshot 11-3 in the opening half, the Cowgirls got four saves from Medina to hold the advantage.
“We rode our luck in the first half, no doubt about it – Tech hit the post a couple of times, and Rosa (Medina) had to make some big saves,” Carmichael said. “When you don't have your whole back line and you're on the road against a really good team, those are the breaks you need.”
Medina started the second half with another fantastic save on a shot by Heap, but seconds later, TTU finally converted a chance when leading scorer Janine Beckie sent a high header off the hands of Medina and into the net to tie the score at 1-1 in the 50th minute.
Prime scoring opportunities were few the rest of the way. The Red Raiders outshot OSU 5-1 in the overtime periods, but just one of those attempts was on goal, while the Cowgirls' lone shot in the extra time came in the first OT.
Carmichael was quick to praise a pair of freshmen – Allie Rivers and Abbey Bright – for their play on the defensive back line. Rivers had played mostly at forward in OSU's first 13 games, while Bright played a career-high 58 minutes.
“Allie Rivers played as a wide back and so did Abbey Bright, and both did great and gave us quality minutes,” Carmichael said. “It gives me a lot of hope going forward that they have a chance to develop and be even bigger players for us in the future.”
OSU returns to action Friday when the Cowgirls host TCU at 7 p.m. before a Sunday afternoon showdown against Baylor.
Tulsa Women's Soccer Team Ties UConn, 2-2
Storrs, Conn. – Christina Holmes led the Tulsa women's soccer team to a 2-2 double-overtime tie against UConn on Sunday afternoon at the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. TU moved to 7-5-2 on the season and 1-2-1 in the American Athletic Conference, while UConn moved to 8-3-3 overall and 1-1-2 in the league.
“I thought we showed a lot of heart and character, especially after a tough loss on Thursday,” coach Kyle Cussen said. “UConn is a very good team, but we played very well as a team today. We didn't stop competing for 110 minutes, which was very encouraging. Anytime you can get a point on the road against one of the best teams in the league is great. I really felt like everyone put their best foot forward today and I am excited about the remainder of the conference season.”
Holmes put the Golden Hurricane on the board first as she made a deep run into the box and shot into the upper left corner for a goal at the 16:23 mark.
TU took a 1-0 advantage into the break, but Danielle Gottwik evened the score in the 53rd minute off a 24-yard free kick. Just under 10 minutes later, Rachel Hill gave the Huskies the lead as she scored on a combination from Samantha McGuire and Liana Hinds.
With just 11 minutes to play in regulation, Holmes found the back of the net again to tie the score at 2-2. Neither team was able to score a Golden Goal and the game ended after two overtime periods.
Holmes, Tana Dake and Rachel Thun all had a team-best three shots, while Alexa Sidorakis had two attempts, and four others had one shot. Courtney McKeon logged all 90 minutes between the posts for six saves.
UConn had a 26-15 lead in shots, including a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal, and a 4-3 lead in corner kicks.
Tulsa will return to action on Thursday, October 9th against East Carolina. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium.