Sept. 14, 2008
OXFORD, Miss. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team was unable to snap a three-game losing streak as it suffered a 2-1 defeat at Mississippi on Sunday.
The Sooners headed into halftime with the lead for just the second time this season (lost 3-1 on Aug. 29 against Central Michigan), but was unable to close out the victory. The loss was the third of the season for the Sooners decided by one goal.
Ole Miss improved to 2-3-2 with the comeback victory, the first meeting in the series with Oklahoma. The Sooners dropped to 1-6 after the Rebels tallied two quick goals in the first three minutes of the second half.
“We got off to a good start today and that was encouraging after Friday’s game,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “ We talked a lot about putting together 90 minutes of soccer and we had about 88 today. Overall, despite the score, we put together the best game we have all year.
“We got some minutes from different people off our bench and I was happy with the fact that we took some steps forward today.”
Ole Miss’ come-from-behind win was made possible by midfielder Jennifer Hance’s two-goal performance. Hance scored the game-tying goal at the 46:32 mark and converted a free kick less than two minutes later for the game winning score.
“Hance is a great player and we gave her a little bit too much room in the beginning of the second half and she capitalized,” added Nelson.
Palmer gave OU the 1-0 lead in the 24th minute as she chipped in her team-leading fourth goal of the season from five yards out after Lauren Alkek set up the score with her first career assist.
The goal was the 10th of Palmer’s career as she became the third fastest Sooner to accomplish the feat (tied with Jonette Coquat-26 games). Palmer is one of five Sooners to score 10 career goals in 30 games or less and she only trails Heather Morrison (20 games) and Logan Womack (23 games). Palmer is also one of 12 Sooners to score 10 or more goals in her career.
“The coaching staff was pleased with Whitney’s goal,” said Nelson. “That allowed us to find a rhythm in our attack and it took some pressure off our defense. We really put some things together in the final third today, but we have to realize that we are capable of coming from behind.”
The Rebels’ offense made it difficult for OU to rally as it totaled 19 shots in the game and made goalie Lisa Jett record a season-high eight saves.
The Sooners return to action next weekend at home with a single game against Louisiana State on Friday, Sept. 19. Game time at John Crain Field is slated for 7 p.m.