Oct. 31, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- The OU soccer team was unable to pull off the upset in the Bedlam Series, presented by The Oklahoman and Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance, on Friday against No. 9 Oklahoma State in Norman. The Cowgirls topped the Sooners, 4-2, to end OU’s postseason hopes and clinch the regular season Big 12 title.
The Cowgirls rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to record their fourth straight win in the series, which they lead 11-2-1 overall. The game was tied at two goals apiece at halftime, but OSU found the back of the net on two occasions in the final 45 minutes to record the victory.
“I give the credit to Oklahoma State,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “They scored two very good goals in the second half. It was a breakdown defensively on our part, but they were both good goals and came on two of the few mistakes we made in the game.”
OU finished the season at 3-15-1 overall and 2-7-1 in Big 12 play, while Oklahoma State improved to 16-1-2 and 7-1-2.
The Sooners jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after freshman Jordan White (second of the season) connected on sophomore Ashley Farrand’s assist in the ninth minute of the game. However, OSU countered 16 minutes later to tie the game at one and then took its first lead on a penalty kick in the 38th minute.
Down 2-1, the Sooners rallied to tie the game on freshman Kelsey Kraft’s one-timer (second of the season) from sophomore Sage Coralli at the 41:21 mark. The game-tying goal sent the game to break with OSU leading the shot count, 7-5.
After a tightly played first half, the Cowgirls capitalized on a couple of defensive miscues by the Sooners.
The Cowgirls scored off their first shot of the second half to take a 3-2 lead on Siera Strawser’s 10th goal of the season at the 49:55 mark. In the 59th minute, Melinda Mercado added the insurance goal on a loose ball in the Sooners’ box.
OU senior goalkeeper Traci Dickenson finished her seventh consecutive start in the Sooners’ goal with five saves from 19 OSU shots, opposite her counterpart, Erin Stigler, who did not record a save off the Sooners’ nine shots in the game.
Seniors Katie Corbitt and Dickenson played in their final games as Sooners. Corbitt finished her career with 75 games played and 64 starts, marks that rank eighth and ninth all-time at OU, respectively. Dickenson, a starter on defense for OU prior to the last seven games of the 2008 season, started 21 games and played in 50 overall throughout her career.
“I’m thankful for the seniors and the effort they gave us and what they added late down the stretch,” added Nelson. “They’ve been a tremendous group for us this season.
The Sooners will return 10 letterwinners from the 2008 season that started at least 10 games, including leading-goal scorer Whitney Palmer, who’s eight goals was tied for the third best single-season total in school history. Overall, the Sooners started four freshmen this season and five newcomers over to accompany a sophomore class that has started a majority of the last two seasons.
“I told them to hold their head’s high,” added Nelson. “That if we would have played six or eight games the way we did tonight, we would be in the top half of the conference. We were very good tonight and its something to build on and look to the future with.”