Aug. 28, 2011
The Sooners dropped to 1-3 after the contest, marking the first three-game losing streak since the end of the 2009 season.
The Mustangs (3-1) received the game-winning goal from Courtney Smith off a free kick from 22 yards out in the 73rd minute. The shot came after OU’s Kathryn Watson was whistled for a foul committed on a Mustang attacker just outside the Sooner box. SMU set up the opportunity after winning a Sooner goal kick and immediately countering down the field.
Unlike in the final seconds of the first half, OU goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire’s diving save attempt was not enough to keep SMU off the board.
“We have a lot of players on the field that have not played (a lot of minutes) on this level,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “We are learning some hard lessons, but getting good experience. We will keep working on it.”
Despite not facing each other since 2004, the one-goal games are nothing new to the OU-SMU series. SMU leads the series 4-2-1 and each of those seven games have been decided by one goal or less.
OU created its share of goal-scoring opportunities on Sunday night despite trailing the over shot count 9-8. The Sooners and Mustangs each had two shots on goal, but SMU held a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Eight different Sooners fired shots in the game, including Zoe Dickson and Abby Hodgen, who were credited for OU’s two shots on goal. Dickson had OU’s best chance with 18 minutes remaining in the first half, but her shot off a breakway was saved by SMU goalkeeper Courtney Webb.
“We are not finishing our opportunities,” added Nelson about the Sooner offense that has scored one goal since the 5-0 season-opening win over UAB.
The Sooners remain home to conclude a stretch that includes five of the first six games of the season played in Norman (all six in the state of Oklahoma). On Friday, Sept. 2, OU welcomes Oral Roberts to John Crain Field for a 7 p.m. game. The Sooners won the last meeting in the series, 2-0, in 2009 at home. OU leads ORU 10-2 overall in the series that began in 1997.
On Sunday, Sept. 4, OU looks to avenge a 2010 loss at Missouri State when the Bears arrive for a 7 p.m. game. The Sooners won the first three meetings with Missouri State prior to the 2010 defeat in Springfield.
“Our focus, our mental toughness and our standard need to be higher,” Nelson said about next weekend’s games.