Oklahoma opened the 2014 season with a 2-0 win over Bedlam-rival Oklahoma State in a non-conference matchup Friday night at John Crain Field.
The loss is just the fourth ever the Cowgirls have suffered to OU as OSU is now 19-4-3 all time against the Sooners. It also snapped a four-game winning streak in season openers.
Both OU goals came in the opening half, while the Cowgirls, despite outshooting the Sooners by a 14-7 margin, could not find the back of the net.
“In the first half for whatever reason, a couple of our players just weren't switched on – we let players in behind us that we usually don't and we weren't really pressing as a unit, it was more individual effort. And the effort wasn't good enough in the first half,” said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael.
Despite falling behind in the opening half, OSU had scoring chances and several near misses among its eight shots. The closest came in the 27th minute when Niki McKnight drilled a deep shot from 40-yards out that glanced off the crossbar but failed to cross the line.
Just 30 seconds later, OU got on the scoreboard, scoring on its first shot attempt of the match when Rachel Ressler took a pass from Lizzie Luallin and connected on a chance from 10-yards out.
The Sooners doubled their lead in the 41st minute. Devin Barrett blasted a shot from 30-yards out that OSU goalie Rosa Medina couldn't control, and the ball rolled over the line to give the home team a 2-0 advantage.
“It was a combination of we missed some chances and a combination of a little bit of bad luck,” Carmichael said. “We definitely had more chances that they did, but ultimately in soccer it doesn't matter how many chances you get, it's about how many you score. OU did a better job than us of putting their chances away.”
In the second half, the Cowgirls tallied six shots, but OU keeper Kaitlyn Fahrner kept them off the scoreboard as she recorded five saves in the contest.
Oklahoma plays Utah at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Norman, while OSU returns to action Sunday at Arkansas in a match scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
“Every game counts the same in NCAA soccer – we just lost a game, it's the first game of the season and not the last,” Carmichael said. “It's disappointing, we're upset, but we know we can do better. It's the first game of the season, and if we're down in the dumps about this one, it's going to be a long season.
“We'll bounce back Sunday. It will be a good one against Arkansas, and if we can win that, we'll be back on the right track.”