NORMAN — The No. 22 Oklahoma soccer team fell to Baylor, 2-1, in a competitive conference contest on Friday night at John Crain Field.
The Bears (9-4-1, 2-1-1 Big 12) jumped out to the early lead with a goal from freshman forward Raegan Padgett in the seventh minute, but the Sooners (10-4-1 overall, 3-2-0 Big 12) responded quickly as senior forward Liz Keester tallied the equalizer. The deciding score came in the 71st minute from Baylor sophomore midfielder Sarah King.
“It was a competitive game, back and forth,” fifth-year OU head coach Matt Potter said. “There wasn’t a lot of great soccer played on our part, so we didn’t feel that we performed to our potential tonight, but I don’t want to take anything away from Baylor. They found a way in a Big 12 game to compete, be physical and figure out the way to win the game, and they thoroughly deserve that. They were better than that.
“We have to regroup and find a way to go again now, but we’re going to have to toughen up, and we’re going to have to be a better version of ourselves if we’re going to continue to have the season that we promised that we could have, that our promise has shown we can have,” Potter continued. “So, we just have to be a better version of ourselves than tonight. That’s OK, as long as we heed the lesson and we move on and we go on again.”
The Sooners outshot the Bears by a 16-10 margin, including an 8-6 advantage in shots on goal. Keester led OU with six shots, while senior midfielder/forward Madison Saliba added four and junior midfielder Lizzie Luallin tallied two. OU’s offense struggled early in the second half before generating solid attempts late in the frame, but they were not able to connect on any of their looks.
The Bears got on the board first with Padgett’s goal in the seventh minute. After a throw-in from King, Padgett controlled a ball from sophomore midfielder Julie James to record the score.
The Baylor lead did not last long, though, as Keester recovered the ball from a Baylor defender and recorded her team-high seventh goal of the season in the 10th minute to tie up the match.
The game winner came off a corner kick from senior midfielder Ashley York. York sent a ball into the box, and James headed it toward King, who tapped in the goal.
OU redshirt senior Kassidie Stade corralled four saves in the match and fell to 10-4-1 on the season in goal, while Baylor junior Sara Martinson improved to 8-3-1 after snagging seven saves on Friday night.
The Sooners next play on Friday, Oct. 14, when they travel to Stillwater, Okla., to take on Oklahoma State. The Bedlam game will be the second of the season, with OU taking the non-conference meeting in Norman, 1-0.
This season, the Sooners are celebrating 20 years of their program, which began in 1996. Tickets are available online through SoonerSports.com or over the phone at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at 800-456-GoOU.