OU improved to 2-1 with a season-high two goals and 19 shots on Sunday night, including the game winner from sophomore Caitlin Mooney. The Sooner offense seemed to find its rhythm after tallying just one goal in the previous two contests.
"It's still early in the season," said Nicole Nelson on the team's offensive performance so far this year. "Finishing is always an issue, I feel like, early in the season. We create a lot of goal scoring chances and don't score as many goals as I like. It takes a few weeks to really get in sync with each other and become cohesive in the attack."
Mooney led the charge on Sunday and scored the game-winning goal at the 63:32 mark in the second half. Mooney's first goal of the season came directly off a throw-in by sophomore Brianna Turang, who was credited with the assist.
"I was just trying to shoot and make something happen," said Mooney who also scored a hat trick during OU's 6-1 exhibition win over Northern Colorado.
Mooney's score came 18 minutes after SFA's Kim Kimmel knotted the game up at one goal apiece on a shot that got by OU's Kelsey Devonshire in the net.
The Sooners came out firing and took a 1-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half. Nelson started four freshman against Stephen F. Austin, including Zoe Dickson, Kathryn Watson and Samantha Howell, who all cracked the startling lineup for the first time in their careers.
"We have not been starting games well, so I went with starting them and see how it shifted our energy to start out with," added Nelson. "And it worked. I think they did a good job. For the first 20-25 minutes of the game, our energy was really high."
Freshman Annalisa Hall was not one of the starters, but she came off the bench and scored the game's initial goal, the first of her career. The score came in the 33rd minute after senior Whitney Palmer found her on the back door. The assist marked the 62nd career point for Palmer.
OU led the shot count 9-3 at halftime and controlled the second 45 minutes with a 10-4 advantage. Sophomore Dria Hampton, who assisted on the game winner on Friday night at Tulsa, had a game-high four shots.
The Sooners have won two straight games in the series with Stephen F. Austin. OU won the last meeting with the Ladyjacks in 2006, also in Norman.
"Hats off to Stephen F. Austin, their pressure was very good," said Nelson. "We'll take the win tonight but we have a lot to work on this week."
Oklahoma will have a week off before its next contest on Sunday, Sept. 5 against Colorado College. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. start in Norman.