Gritty Win over ORU Caps Soccer Slate For OU
NORMAN, Okla. -- After a dominant first half, the Oklahoma soccer team outlasted Oral Roberts in a gritty 1-0 victory at John Crain Field on Friday night.
The Sooners outshot the Golden Eagles by a margin of 11-0 in the first half, but surrendered seven shots (four on goal) in the second half while posting only two of their own. Sooner goalkeeper Kassidie Stade stepped up in a big way to help OU, picking up four saves to keep ORU off the board in the final 45 minutes of play.
Oklahoma struck first and struck fast when gameplay began on a warm and bright fall evening in Norman. Abby Hodgen drove down the right side and fired a quick shot on goal at ORU goalkeeper Maddie Rhodes and Rhodes was able to block away. The ball was deflected and true freshman Chelsea Jackson was right on Hodgen's heels to send in the short-range shot and give OU an early 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
The Sooners had Oral Roberts on its heels throughout the first half but were slightly off target on several key opportunities. Madison Kinzer connected on a header in the eighth minute that narrowly flew high, while Lizzie Luallin sent in a header of her own in the 11th minute that also sailed over the goal. An additional pair of headers from Ayana O'Neal and Shiloh Price were also off-target to keep the Sooners from increasing their lead.
Rhodes was forced to make plenty of plays in the first half as well. Oklahoma fired six shots on goal in the first half, with Rhodes saving five to keep the Golden Eagles in the contest.
ORU's Madison Valenzuela got a big chance right out of the gates to start the second half, driving down the left side to fire a big shot that slipped just over the goal. The Golden Eagles were back in the 59th minute as Kayla Keller sent two big shots on goal toward Stade. Stade rose to the occasion with two hugely athletic saves, blocking one ball before controlling and diving to make a powerful save on the second.
The match became even more physical as the half wore on, with ORU notching 11 fouls compared to Oklahoma's three in the second half as they searched for an equalizing goal. OU's defense held, pressing back to keep the Golden Eagles off the board as minutes ticked off the clock. A late yellow card on Valenzuela in the 85th minute took wind out of ORU's sails: the Golden Eagles would notch one more shot on goal, but Stade scooped up an easy save and the match went final.
With Jackson's goal, 10 different Sooners have notched goals this season. The Sooners wrap up non-conference play with a 6-3-2 record overall and will head into a whole new season with conference play.
The Sooners will begin Big 12 competition next weekend with a two-match road weekend. OU will open conference play on Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. CT against No. 6 Texas Tech before heading north to face Iowa State in Ames on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. CT.
Cowgirls Open Big 12 Play With Win
STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State ran its winning streak to five games Friday night as it opened Big 12 Conference play with a 1-0 win over Iowa State at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
Kelsey Bass' first goal of the season was the difference, and OSU recorded its third shutout in its last four games to improve to 5-6-0 on the year.
“We've won five in a row against good teams, and that's not easy — it shows a level of consistency that we're happy about,” said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. “Tonight's game in the first 15 or 20 minutes, Iowa State was clearly the better team, and we were pretty lucky they didn't score. But after that, I thought we came to grips with it, and in the second half we were really unlucky not to get another goal or two. Overall, we're pleased with the performance.”
Senior goalkeeper Rosa Medina helped OSU overcome its slow start with a pair of saves in the game's first nine minutes to keep the Cyclones (6-5-0) off the scoreboard. Medina would go on to record five saves in the match.
“In that first 20-minute span, (Medina) saved us with a great tip over the bar and a great diving save to keep it at nil,” Carmichael said. “Rosa, especially when our team wasn't playing well, she stepped up and kept us in it. She was huge.”
Carmichael also praised the play of freshman Laurene Tresfield, who was one of the keys to the defensive effort from her holding midfielder spot.
“(Tresfield) was awesome — that's the best she's played since she's been here,” Carmichael said. “She was huge physically, and some of her passing was excellent.”
OSU managed just two corner kicks in the match, but the first of those proved to be critical when, in the 29th minute, Bass delivered a ball from the right corner that deflected off an ISU defender and into the net for a goal.
“It was kind of fluky, but we have corners where I just try and place it on top of them and it just happened to go in,” Bass said.
The second half saw OSU double the visitors on shot attempts (12-6), but the Cowgirls could not capitalize with another goal. Their best chance came with just under four minutes left in the match when a Madison Mercado attempt was saved by diving ISU goalie Andrea Swanson.
Statistically, the match was even, with OSU owning a slight 19-16 advantage in shots, and the Cyclones recording five corner kicks to the Cowgirls' two. Swanson countered Medina's five saves with six of her own.
OSU will return to action Sunday with the last contest in its six-game home stand and its final non-conference matchup of the season when the Cowgirls host Dayton at 1 p.m.
“Our goal coming into this home stand was to win six games,” Bass said. “You always want to get on a win streak and keep it rolling so it feels pretty good. We played really well (vs. Iowa State) so hopefully we carry that play into the Sunday game and just keep it going.”
Tulsa Stumbles against SMU, 4-2, in American Athletic Conference Season Opener
Dallas, Texas – The Tulsa men's soccer team dropped a 4-2 decision to SMU in the American Athletic Conference season opener on Friday night at Westcott Field in Dallas, Texas. TU fell to 3-4-1 on the season and 0-1 in the American, while SMU moved to 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the league.
John Lujano put the Mustangs on the board first off a penalty kick at the 22:13 mark, but Bradley Bourgeois evened the score in the 39th minute off a pass from Tony Rocha for a 1-1 tie at the break.
Austin Neil quickly gave TU a 2-1 lead in the second frame as he scored from 12 yards out off a pass from Aymar Sigue at the 47:24 mark.
Stanton Garcia got one back for SMU in the 51st minute for a 2-2 score, but in just under eight minutes the Mustangs added two more scores for a 4-2 advantage. Mauro Cichero tallied a goal at the 57:20 mark and Anthony Jeffries posted a goal at 57:57.
SMU had a 12-11 lead in shots, including an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal, while Tulsa had a 5-3 lead in corner kicks.
Sigue, Rocha and Ray Saari all had two shots for the Hurricane, while Jake McGuire played all 90 minutes in goal and had four saves.
Tulsa will return to action on Tuesday, Sept. 30th against Missouri State in the final regular season non-conference game beginning at 7:00 pm in Springfield, Mo.