Nov. 2, 2011
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Oklahoma's upset bid against Bedlam rival and No. 2 Oklahoma State fell short on Wednesday, falling 1-0 in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinal round at Blossom Soccer Stadium.
After 87 scoreless minutes, OSU's Taylor Matthews scored the game winner on a counter attack immediately after they stopped Caitlin Mooney's scoring opportunity on the opposite end of the field in their penalty box.
“We created enough opportunities to win,” Sooners coach Nicole Nelson said. “But we got caught on the counter (on the game-winning goal), which is what OSU is incredible at. They have a tremendous senior class that knows what to do, and they do it well.”
The Sooners finished the year 7-13 overall while Oklahoma State, the tournament's No. 1 seed, improved to 18-0-2 and will face Texas on Friday. The 1-0 contest marked the 15th in the 21-game series to be decided by one goal or less.
Similar to the first meeting of the season, OU and OSU were scoreless after the first 45 minutes of action. Both teams had their chances in the first half, including OU's best at the 35:10 mark when Dria Hampton appeared to find the back of the net but was ruled offsides, despite a nice through ball from Mooney.
In the second half, prior to its goal, OSU had its best opportunity with 23 minutes left in regulation but OU junior Katharine Nutman made a save on the Sooner back line to keep the game knotted at zeroes. It was one of the Sooners' five saves in the game after forcing OSU's Adrianna Franch to stop the same amount.
OSU held a 16-12 advantage in shots, including a 6-5 edge in shots on goal, but the Sooners had a 5-4 lead in corner kicks. The Sooners were outshot 10-4 in the first half but came back to hold an 8-6 advantage in the final 45 minutes.
Wednesday marked OU's seventh appearance in the Big 12 Championship and second under fourth-year head coach Nicole Nelson.The quarterfinal game marked the second straight year that the conference tournament featured a Bedlam matchup. OU tied then-No. 10 Oklahoma State in the title game of the 2010 Big 12 Championship. The game ended in penalty kicks (OSU, 5-4) and marked the second postseason meeting between the in-state rivals (OSU won 2-1 in 2006).
The game was the final for seniors Michelle Alexander, Sage Coralli, Lisa Jett, Kelsey Kraft, Tori Rocke and Jordan White. OU will return 10 of the 11 starters for the 2012 season, inlcuding a trio of three-year starters in goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire and midfielders Dria Hampton and Katharine Nutman.
"We played a good game tonight and put some good things together," added Nelson. "We've grown tremendously throughout the year and battled through some adversity. We are sorry we couldn't send the seniors off with a win. The future is bright as we have a lot of experience coming back next year."