Oct. 18, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team came up short in its bid to hand Missouri its first defeat in conference play this season on Sunday. The Tigers won 1-0 in double overtime after the two teams fought for 100 minutes of action at the OU Soccer Complex.
Michelle Collins scored the golden goal at the 100:27 mark in the second overtime as her shot just got past OU goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire, who finished with nine saves.
“It (goal) was a breakdown in communication,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “A ball was bouncing between our center back and our goalkeeper, and there was some indecisiveness on Kelsey’s part to come out and get that. Those unfortunately are the type of mistakes you see with a young goalkeeper. The saves she makes to keep us in games are unbelievable and that mistake today, she won’t make again. We had opportunities to score and we didn’t.”
The one-goal games have plagued the Sooners this season, including two losses this weekend at home. OU is 2-4-1 in games decided by one goal or less and five of those contests have fallen in Big 12 play.
Sunday’s game was just the Sooners’ second played in overtime this season while Missouri is 2-0-2 in extra time.
“We have to learn from that,” said Nelson about the close games. “The biggest thing with the one-goal difference is there is not a lot of experience on the field. We are starting anywhere from five to six freshmen. Sometimes, with younger players, you see a lot of really close games that were decided by mistakes that in the future, won’t be made again. That is one of the negatives in having a young squad. The positive in that, is they won’t make the same mistakes next year as sophomores.”
The Sooners had their chances throughout the afternoon as Whitney Palmer had three of her four shots on target and Dria Hampton and Jordan White added combined for five shots. However, Missouri fired 12 shots on goal as Devonshire made nine saves and the Sooner defense was forced to block two balls on the back line.
“It was a tremendous effort on our part,” added Nelson. “That is the toughest team in the conference, hands down, to play and right now they are sitting at the top of the conference undefeated. Give credit to Missouri, they are a very good, athletic and physical team.”
The loss dropped OU to 7-9-1 overall and 2-6 in Big 12 play while Missouri improved to 10-4-3 and 5-0-2. The Sooners are tied for ninth place in the standings with Kansas and Iowa State and sit right behind Oklahoma State at 3-5. The top eight teams qualify for the Big 12 Championship (Nov. 4-8).
The Sooners have two games remaining in the regular season as they play the final road game of the regular season slate on Friday, Oct. 23 at Oklahoma State. The Bedlam Series, presented by The Oklahoman and Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance, gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex in Stillwater.
The Bedlam matchup marks the only game on the weekend for OU, which concludes the regular season on Oct. 30 at home against Baylor for Senior Night.
“It’s safe to say we have to win out,” added Nelson. “We have taken a little bit of the control out of our hands and it depends a little bit on what other people do. There is a lot of two wins out there coming into today, so three wins may do it. As we have been, we are under pressure and you embrace it and go after it.”