Sept. 4, 2009
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The OU soccer team faced two overtime periods in its first road game of the season and came away with a 2-2 draw on Friday night at Middle Tennessee. The Sooners trailed 2-1 with less than a minute remaining until junior forward Whitney Palmer scored the equalizer on her fifth goal of the season.
After going scoreless in the first 60 minutes of the game, the teams combined to score four goals in the final 30 minutes of regulation. OU blasted 14 shots, nine on goal, and had eight corner kicks after intermission.
The Sooners (4-0-1) applied plenty of pressure and controlled the two overtime sessions, but could not find the back of the net despite taking numerous shots and holding the Middle Tennessee (3-1-1) offense at bay.
"Congrats to Middle Tennessee for a tremendous fight," said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. "They are a good team and executed their game play well tonight. We showed a tremendous effort to go down late and fight back, but we had some very good goal-scoring opportunities that we did not capitalize on. The field was narrow and we're unable to stretch their defense and play our game."
OU saw another impressive debut during Friday's game at Middle Tennessee as freshman Katharine Nutman, who joined the team earlier this week, added her first career score in her first game as a Sooner.
"It was a solid debut for Kat," said Nelson. "She seems to have adjusted to the speed of play and was on the ball and played great."
After a scoreless first half that saw both teams create numerous scoring opportunities, Nutman, a native of Southend, England, collected a loose ball in the box and found the back of the net with 28:41 left in the game. The goal came after MTSU goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing made a nice save on Dria Hampton's shot. Cushing was unable to stop the second shot by the Sooner offense as Hampton was credited with the assist, her first of two in the game.
The Blue Raiders tied the game on a corner kick with 16 minutes left in the game as Jen Threlkeld scored her third goal of the season and then took a 2-1 lead as Paige Goeglein scored with 3:48 left off a free kick.
"I was disappointed on our lack of focus on two set pieces," added Nelson. "We will look at the film, regroup and prepare for Sunday."
OU trailed the shot count in the first half, 9-7, and had one corner to Middle Tennessee's five. However, the Sooners had better scoring opportunities with a 5-3 lead in shots on goal in the first 45 minutes of action.
The Sooners finished the game with a 21-16 advantage in shots, including a 14-7 lead in shots on goal, and also led the Blue Raiders in corner kicks, 9-8.
Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire tied a season-high with five saves in the game, including three in the first half and her counterpart was forced to make 10 saves in 110 minutes of action.
Friday's meeting was the second in the all-time series after OU and Middle Tennessee played to a scoreless tie in Norman during the 2007 season.
The Sooners return to action on Sunday, Sept. 6, at Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. The game is the first meeting in the series between OU and Vandy. The Commodores are 4-0 after easily defeating Belmont, 3-0, at home on Friday.