Sept. 4, 2011
The win takes Oklahoma’s overall record back to .500 at 3-3, while Missouri State dropped its second straight game to fall to 2-3. The Sooners jumped out to a 3-0 advantage before MSU broke up the shutout in the 89th minute. OU fired 20 shots opposite the Bears’ nine and the Sooners held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.
“It is huge that we start strong and put our stamp on the game early,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson.
Senior Michelle Alexander put OU on the board early at the 13:12 mark, her third of the season, on a header that was assisted by junior Dria Hampton and freshman Emily Bowman. Bowman’s free kick from the other side of the field from about 65 yards out was headed by Hampton up to Alexander, who converted from about five yards outside of the MSU goal.
“I think its just a confidence booster,” said Alexander. “We just came out strong on Friday and we just had a lot of confidence and motivation coming into this game.”
OU entered the weekend with one goal in the previous three games, which resulted in a three-game losing streak. However, the Sooners turned a corner on Friday night with a 4-1 win over Oral Roberts, which was highlighted by junior Caitlin Mooney tying two program records with two assists and six points.
On Sunday, the OU offense featured three different goal scorers, including career firsts from sophomore Amy Petrikin and freshman Hannah Gordon. Petrikin’s goal, assisted by Mooney in the 30th minute, proved to be the game winner as Missouri State tacked on a late goal off a free kick from the top of the box. The initial kick was saved by OU goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire, but deflected off the cross bar and back to Jeslynne McGrath who tapped in the Bears’ lone score with 1:25 left on the clock in regulation.
In the 82nd minute, Gordon became the fifth different Sooner to score on the weekend as she found a loose ball in the Bears’ box that she fired into the back of the net for a 3-0 OU lead.
“When they (OU) start games well, they are confident,” added Nelson. “They refocused this week. We tweaked a few things with the system and moved some people around. They were pretty sharp all weekend.”
Devonshire and the OU defense put together another solid effort on Sunday, holding the Bears scoreless for the first 88:34 in the game. On Friday, the Sooners had a 4-0 lead until the 68th minute. Devonshire had a season-high seven saves against the Bears, who are 0-4 all-time in games played in Norman.
The win not only pushed the Sooners’ record back to .500 on the season, but it avenged a loss to Missouri State last season on the road.
OU faces its first full weekend of action away from home this week with a pair of non-conference games in Arizona. On Friday, Sept. 9, OU battles Arizona State in Tempe at 6:30 p.m. CT. OU and ASU have met once previously in 2004. The Sooners won that game, 1-0, in Tempe on Sept. 19.
On Sunday, Sept. 4, OU faces Arizona at 12 p.m. CT. in Tempe, Ariz. The Sooners and Wildcats have meet once back in 2002. OU won that game, 2-0, in Norman on Sept. 15.