Clutch Continues For No. 15 Sooners

Saturday, September 13th 2014, 12:06 am
By: News 9

Heart, aggressiveness and a little bit of Sooner Magic in Texas pushed the Oklahoma soccer team to its best start since 2005 on Friday night.

OU rose to 5-1-1 overall with a 2-1 road win in double-overtime over North Texas. The Sooners are undefeated on the road this season after topping Nebraska in double-overtime last weekend.

The match began in challenging conditions, with heavy drizzle swirling in a chilly fall wind at the 7 p.m. start time. Both teams struggled to get solid opportunities at the goal, but a physical tone was established with the teams combining for 16 fouls in the first half.

Oklahoma's back line battled with the Mean Green through the first 45 minutes of play, keeping NT off the board with the help of three saves from OU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Fahrner.

After ending the first half in a 0-0 tie, the match resumed with a similar level of aggressive play from each team. OU and North Texas traded shots throughout the first five minutes of play, including chances from Oklahoma freshmen Rasha Roberts and Tori Bowman.

The Mean Green struck in the 81st minute of the play, getting the go-ahead goal off a corner kick from Karla Pineda. Pineda's boot from the left side of the field was bobbled around and slipped past Fahrner, giving NT a 1-0 lead over the Sooners.

OU players poured forward as the 90th minute neared, searching for the equalizing goal that would keep Oklahoma's hopes alive.

Oklahoma's miracle moment came with the final minute of the game ticking off the clock. The Sooners scored a corner kick, and Rayfield sent the ball soaring in from the left side of the field. Roberts connected, flicking the ball in with only 38 seconds left to reignite Oklahoma's hopes for a second road victory.

The first overtime period saw Oklahoma go on the offensive with confidence, looking for its second golden-goal victory in a week. OU fired two shots in the first period, including a rocket from Laura Rayfield off a free kick that North Texas goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine just managed to punch away.

The Sooners didn't surrender a single shot to NT in overtime, keeping pressure squarely on the Mean Green's shoulders as the second overtime period began. In the 101st minute, Rayfield would deliver the game-winning golden goal again.

Rayfield lined up and launched in a free kick from the left side of the field. The perfectly-placed ball was controlled by Oklahoma freshman Madeline Brem, who sent the game winner in past Kerestine to keep Oklahoma perfect (2-0-1) in overtime games this season.

The Sooners will close their weekend on Sunday evening against in-state rival Tulsa. OU will go on the road to face the Golden Hurricane, challenging TU in a 7:30 p.m. CT match on Sept. 14.