Sept. 18, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- The OU soccer team returned to the friendly confines of John Crain Field on Friday to record a 2-0 win over visiting Lamar in front of 734 fans.
Junior Whitney Palmer and senior Ashley Farrand netted goals to help the Sooners improve to 5-2-1 on the year and end a two-game losing streak.
“The fan base that comes out every time we are home has been great and the numbers continue to increase,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “It’s always nice to be home and we appreciate our fans tremendously.”
Farrand gave OU a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute as the senior scored her first goal of the year and second of the season.
Oklahoma peppered Lamar for 24 shots in the game, 16 in the second half, and forced goalkeeper Jennifer Gibbs to make a career-high 11 saves. The Cardinals (1-6) managed six shots in the game and just one in the second half.
“I think we got off to a slow start but put a much better half together in the second half,” said Nelson. “I don’t think we gave up any true goal-scoring opportunities in the second half and in turn created a lot for ourselves. We hit the post three times and had a lot of other close chances that could have easily resulted in goals. I liked what we put together in the attack tonight and feel like we are clicking and the team is in a good place.”
After intermission, Palmer netted her seventh goal of the season as she gathered the ball in the Lamar box and converted off Jordan White’s shot that was saved originally by Gibbs. The score in the 55th minute gave OU a 2-0 cushion and a 5-0 record at home.
Less than a minute later, Palmer nearly gave OU a 3-0 lead as her blast deflected off the cross bar and bounced back into the hands of a jumping Gibbs. At the 62:58 mark, Kelsey Kraft followed suit and banged another shot off the cross bar.
The Sooners finished the contest with 13 of their 24 shots on goal and OU goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire needed to make just one save in her fourth shutout and fifth win of the season.
“I was happy with the way we ended the game and thought we played well coming off the two losses,” added Nelson. “We are looking forward to Sunday’s game (vs. USC).”
Oklahoma returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. against USC (4-3). The Trojans, the 2007 National Champs, played in Stillwater on Friday night and came away with a 1-0 victory.