Sept. 2, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Three unanswered goals paved the way to a 3-1 win for the Oklahoma soccer team over Northern Arizona on Sunday in the final game of the Rebel Classic on a hot afternoon on UNLV's campus.
Zoe Dickson, Renae Cuellar and Amy Petrikin all scored for the Sooners who lost a heartbreaker on Friday night in the final minutes of double overtime against host UNLV. Prior to Sunday's game, OU had played three contests in double overtime in its last four outings.
Sunday's comeback victory ended the Sooners' first road trip at 1-1 and upped their overall record to 3-2-1 on the season. The Lumberjacks dropped to 1-4 on the year and 0-2 all-time against the Sooners. OU topped NAU 3-0 on the road in 2001 in the only other meeting in the series.
"I thought we showed great courage, character and persistence today against a tough NAU team, along with the weather challenges and the fact we went a goal down," said OU Head Coach Matt Potter. "At times, the team performed with great purpose as we possessed the ball better and created opportunities throughout the game."
The Sooners fell behind early as NAU netted a goal in the eighth minute, but Dickson made sure the game was evened back up before halftime with an unassisted goal at the 21:28 mark. Dickson gathered a loose ball that the NAU defense failed to clear and scored the equalizer for her first goal of 2012.
OU took its first lead in the 57th minute as the offense came out firing in the early parts of the second half. Renae Cuellar took a long pass by Molly Richey and converted it for her team-leading fourth score of the season.
At the 69:27 mark, the Sooner offense padded the lead and put the game away as Cuellar set up Amy Petrikin, who headed the ball over a charging NAU goalkeeper to score her first goal of the season.
The 3-1 lead could've easily been increased as the Sooners continued to press throughout the second half and into the final seconds of the game. A blast by Annalisa Hall with 16 seconds was saved by NAU's backup goalkeeper, who relieved Natalie Gilbertson. The starter had five stops in the game as the Sooners fired a season high 18 shots, including eight on goal.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire made seven saves in the contest and preserved the OU victory after the early goal at the 7:09 mark.
"I'm pleased with the minutes we were able to get people from our team today and with three differing goals from three different goal scorers, I am pleased as we move into a new phase of our season. "Again, today speaks to the potential of the group and consistency will be key moving forward."
Oklahoma returns home to continue a stretch that features six of the first eight games of the season being played in the friendly confines of John Crain Field.
On Friday, Sept. 7, OU hosts Bedlam rival Oklahoma State, ranked No. 3 nationally this week, at 7 p.m. The non-conference game is the first of two meetings this season as the Cowgirls will host the Sooners in a Big 12 game on Sept. 30.
On Sunday, Sept. 9, OU hosts another in-state rival with Oral Roberts coming to town. The Sooners and Golden Eagles will tangle at 1 p.m.