Oct. 2, 2009
BOULDER, Colo. -- Nikki Marshall and the Buffaloes were too much for the Sooners on Friday at Prentup Field as Oklahoma fell 5-1 at Colorado.
Marshall, the Buffaloes' star senior proved why she is an All-American and member of the U.S. National Team with four goals and an assist, including a hat-trick in the second half, as Colorado (7-5) remained atop the Big 12 standings with a 4-0 mark.
The loss drops Oklahoma to 6-5-1 overall and 1-2 in league play.
"You have to give credit to Colorado and Nikki Marshall," said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. "Colorado showed tonight why its leading the Big 12 at 4-0 and why Marshall is considered one of the best in the country."
Junior forward Whitney Palmer upped her team-leading total to 11 goals on Friday with a score in the first half. Palmer, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week in 2009, has scored in seven of 12 games this season and entered Friday's match tied for third in the nation in goals scored.
Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute on Marshall's first goal of the contest but the Sooners quickly countered at the 25:44 mark as Palmer dribbled through the Buffaloes' defense and found the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Colorado took a 2-1 lead on Kelly Butler's fourth goal of the season and Marshall also played a role in the go-ahead score with an assist.
The Sooners were down just one goal at the half and looking to snap a four-game skid to the Buffaloes, but fell to 0-4 this season when trailing at intermission.
Marshall, who has seven scores on the season, went to work in the second half with three goals.
Friday's game marked the return of sophomore Michelle Alexander to the OU lineup. Alexander, who missed the last two contests after suffering a concussion at home against USC, did not start but played 50-plus minutes.. Unfortunately, the Sooners were without another pair of starters on Friday as junior Ashley Bolden missed the game due to injury and sophomore Kelsey Kraft was lost for the season earlier this week with a torn ACL. Kraft joins junior Sage Coralli on the list of Sooners out for the rest of 2009.
"We need to regroup and bounce back on Sunday at Texas Tech," added Nelson. "We had to play with a relatively young and inexperienced back line tonight. We are looking for some players to step up after losing Kelsey earlier this week. Her injury is a big loss as she recently was playing some of her best soccer this season."
OU concludes the road trip this weekend with Texas Tech on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. in Lubbock. The Sooners will be in search of their first road win of the season (0-3-1).