April 17, 2001

The University of Oklahoma women's soccer team did its best to come back from a three-goal deficit against SMU but was held off, 3-2, by the Mustangs Saturday in Dallas, Texas.

The Sooners controlled the game early but the Mustangs were able to score off their first shot on goal. SMU then made it 2-0 on a free kick scored outside the box just before halftime.

At the beginning of the second half, the Mustangs built what looked like a commanding 3-0 lead after a penalty kick thanks to a disputed hand ball in the box.

The Sooners finally scored when a foul occurred at the edge of the box that resulted in an OU penalty kick by sophomore forward Shannon Wing, making the score 3-1. OU continued to create good chances and its efforts where finally rewarded when sophomore forward Heather Martinelli broke free on the left side and was able to get all the way to goal to cut the lead to a single point, but OU couldn't get any closer.

"We started the game playing as well as we've ever played and had a great chance to go up two or three goals in the first eight minutes," said Oklahoma Head Coach Randy Evans. "I thought their keeper had some great saves and their defenders were able to cover for her when the ball did get by. It was unfortunate to fall behind 1-0 with as well as we were playing. You could give Jana (Cunningham) one hundred chances at that same shot and she'll save 99 of them. The game turned pretty even after that, then I thought SMU started to take control toward the end of the half. Still, it was a little frustrating to have played so well and to have created so many quality chances and be down 2-0 at the half.

"I told the players at halftime that we were playing well except for two things: we weren't scoring and we weren't preventing them from scoring. It just happens to be the way we keep track of the winner. We did an even better job in the second half, getting behind their defense, but SMU's keeper and other defenders were equal to the challenge almost every time. Heather (Martinelli) did a great job finishing her chance on goal. I think if that goal would have come just a few minutes earlier, then we would have had a great chance to make a huge comeback. Either way, I'm very proud of the team's performance and thrilled with the progress we are making."