Sept. 16, 2007
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team suffered its second consecutive loss on Sunday, 2-0, at Cal State Fullerton.
After a scoreless first half that featured three scoring opportunities for the Sooners, including a 4-2 edge in shots and two OU corner kicks, the Titans rallied in the final 45 minutes with two goals from Lauren Cram.
Cram's first goal came in the first five minutes of the second half at the 49:43 mark after she intercepted an attempted clear from senior goalkeeper Jenny Nichols. Cram then put the game out of reach with her second score in the 65th minute.
Sunday marked the first meeting between Oklahoma and Cal State Fullerton. The loss drops OU to 3-2-1 on the season while the Titans won their third straight game to improve to 3-2-1.
"I was really disappointed with our performance in the second half," said OU head coach Randy Evans. "We played great in the first half and I was thrilled with our level of play and the amount of confidence we had entering the break.
"We had three great chances in the first half but all three were just near misses. After they scored the first goal, we put a lot of pressure on our defense by pushing our offense up into their zone and that resulted in the second goal."
The Sooners' three scoring opportunities came off the feet of freshmen Whitney Palmer and Tiana Dickson and senior Tenesha Duncan.
Palmer, who entered the weekend tied for the Big 12 lead in goals scored with four, had the first chance, but her shot in the 14th minute hit the crossbar.
In the 33rd minute, Dickson had her chance on a corner kick taken by freshman Ashley Mumma, but her shot was also high and cleared the top of the goal.
With three minutes left in the first half, Duncan got behind the Titans' defense and was one-on-one with goalkeeper Kerri Ward, but fired the ball wide of the goal on a tough angle from the left side.
After holding a 4-2 advantage in shots during the first 45 minutes, the Sooners surrendered seven shots in the second half. Cal State Fullerton finished the game with a 9-5 advantage in shots and a 7-4 lead in corner kicks.
Senior Allyson Kucera led OU with two shots and defensively, Nichols allowed both of the Titans' goals and made six saves to fall to 3-2-1.
The Sooners entered the weekend undefeated in 2007 and looking to end their lack of success against California teams in the past. After Sunday's loss, along with Friday's double overtime decision at Long Beach State, OU is 0-6-1 against teams from the state of California.
"We played two tough teams this weekend on the road and either game could have gone either way," added Evans. "We have to get better at taking advantage of our scoring chances and taking pressure off our defense."
After back-to-back road trips in Virginia and California, the Sooners return home to host the Sooner Invitational on Sept. 21 and 23.
Middle Tennessee and Long Beach State kick off the tournament on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by the Sooners hosting North Texas at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, North Texas and Long Beach State will play at 11 a.m. while the Sooners and Middle Tennessee are slated to start at 1 p.m. at John Crain Field.
"This is a young team and we need to learn that a little extra effort is needed on the road," added Evans. "The coast-to-coast trip tired us out, so it will be nice to return home and get back on track."