Oct. 19, 2008
WACO, Texas -- The OU soccer team recorded a much-needed victory in Big 12 play on Sunday with a 1-0 decision over Baylor at Betty Lou Mays Field.
The win improves OU’s overall record to 2-13-1 and, more importantly, 1-5-1 in conference play. The Sooners started the weekend tied for last place in the standings and now find themselves tied for ninth with Baylor (5-9-2, 1-5-1).
Sophomore forward Whitney Palmer scored the game-winning goal, her team-leading seventh score, in the first half and the Sooners maintained the lead throughout. OU led the shot count, 12-10, and recorded its first shutout of the season.
Senior Traci Dickenson (1-2-1) earned the shutout and the win with one save throughout 90 minutes of action in goal.
Dickenson and the OU defense held off the Bears who had three shots and two corner kicks in the final five minutes of play. Two of the Bears’ shots almost found the back of the net as one deflected off the top cross bar and another was saved by Dickenson.
“I am very proud of this team’s effort today,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson, who was an assistant coach at Baylor in 2005. “It is very difficult to win on the road in this conference and I commend Baylor for being a team that competed every minute today.
“It was a solid effort by our defense and offensively, we created more goal scoring opportunities than we have in any other game this year.”
Palmer converted one of those opportunities in the first half as she gave Oklahoma a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal in the 20th minute. The score was recorded on a breakaway and marked Palmer’s 13th goal of her career. The goal was one of seven shots for the Sooners in the first half to go along with three corner kicks.
The Plano, Texas, native is now tied for eighth all-time on OU’s career goal-scoring list. She also ranks third in OU history for most goals scored by a Sooner in their freshman and sophomore seasons. In addition, the goal was the fifth game winner of Palmer’s career, moving her into sole possession of fifth place all-time at Oklahoma.
OU increased its advantage in the all-time series with Baylor and leads 6-4-2 after Sunday’s win. The Sooners are 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings in the series.
”Our team did a very good job of executing our game plan and this win will give us confidence going into this final home stretch,” added Nelson. “Our focus is on the final three games and qualifying for the Big 12 tournament, and that starts with Nebraska on Friday.”
The Sooners have two weekends of play remaining to qualify for the Big 12 Championship, which invites the top eight teams in the standings to San Antonio on Nov 5-9.
OU’s schedule is set up in its favor as each of the final three games will be played at home.
The home stand begins on Friday, Oct. 24 against Nebraska at 7 p.m. at John Crain Field. The Sooners will then host Iowa State on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m.
The regular season finale will feature the Ford Bedlam Series against No. 11 Oklahoma State on Friday, Oct. 31.