Sept. 12, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Sooners’ soccer team could not slow down Memphis’ offense on Friday at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex as the defending Conference USA Champions claimed a 3-0 victory. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the Sooners put together several offensive chances but could not rally past the Tigers.
The loss drops Oklahoma to 1-5 overall on the season while Memphis improves to 3-1-1. The win for the Tigers avenged the only other meeting in the series, a 4-0 Sooner victory played almost 10 years ago to the date in Norman (Sept. 11, 1998).
“We got outworked in the first half and they put together some nice goals,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “You have to give credit to Memphis. They are a very good team and the best team we have played this year.”
The Sooners kept things close throughout most of the first half until Memphis jumped on top at the 36:58 mark on Melissa Smith’s first goal of the season. The Tigers then took a 2-0 lead less than five minutes later as Vendula Stnadova dribbled through the OU defense for the score.
Memphis led 2-0 at the half after firing 13 shots and forcing OU goalie Lisa Jett to make three saves.
After a slow start, the Sooners came out firing in the second half and posted a 10-5 advantage in shots, led by sophomore forward Whitney Palmer. OU’s leading scorer was unable to find the back of the net despite finishing with a career-high seven shots, four on goal, and helping make a pair of Tigers’ goalies combine for five saves throughout the contest.
Lizzy Simonin gave the Tigers a three-goal advantage in the 72nd minute after she found the back of the net from 10 yards out. The third and final score ultimately put the game out of reach for the Sooners.
“It was a tale of two halves,” added Nelson. “We put together a very good second half but dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first 45 minutes. It really comes down to the youth and inexperience of this team. They have to continue to learn how to solve problems early in the game. We are making the necessary adjustments after halftime, but its too difficult to record wins when we fall behind early.”
The Sooners have trailed at halftime in all but two of their six games this season and both of those instances resulted in defeats.
Oklahoma will look to snap its three-game losing streak on Sunday, Sept. 14 at Mississippi. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. at Ole Miss Soccer Stadium in Oxford, Miss.