Oct. 17, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- The Sooner soccer team jumped to third place in the Big 12 standings on Sunday with a 2-1 overtime victory over Colorado in front of 912 fans at John Crain Field.
Senior forward Whitney Palmer scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season just 55 seconds into extra time. Last weekend, Palmer became OU’s all-time leading scorer and she now owns 36 career goals and 78 points.
The Sooners fell behind for just the fifth time this season but rallied to record their first comeback victory. Colorado’s Kate Russell gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the third minute of the game.
Down 1-0 at the half, OU rallied in the second session off Dria Hampton’s fourth goal of the season. The sophomore midfielder dribbled throughout the Colorado box and hit an off-balanced shot from just inside the 20 to beat the Buffaloes’ Annie Brunner in goal.
“I would say it was a great second half and overtime effort on our part,” said head coach Nicole Nelson who was 0-3-5 entering Sunday’s action in overtime at the helm of the Sooner program. “Psychologically, with this young team, they keep getting better every week, and more confident every week. So I think that was big that we gave up a goal fairly early and kept fighting and kept creating.”
The win, which improved OU to 9-5-2 overall and 4-2-1 in Big 12 play, came after OU made some halftime adjustments and outshot Colorado (6-9-1, 2-5-1) 11-4 in the second half and 2-0 in overtime.
“If we are persistent with our work, we are going to win games,” added Nelson.
Palmer helped lead the way with the ninth game winner of her career. The Plano, Texas, native was held to one shot in the first half but finished with a game-high six.
“I think its the biggest win we have had the whole season,” said Hampton. “I just knew she (Palmer) was going to get one, I was just so excited for her.”
The last time OU recorded a victory in overtime was also against Colorado back on Oct. 2, 2005 in Norman. The score of the game was also 2-1 and it ended in the first overtime. The 2005 campaign was also the last time OU won nine games in a season and had at least four conference victories.
“Everybody is really excited that we can come out with a win, playing as hard as we did, and winning in the beginning of overtime,” said Palmer.
The Sooners sit in third place in the standings, tied with Nebraska, with three games remaining in the regular season.
“It’s huge (the win), because it keeps us in this race,” said Nelson. “There are three games left and although OSU is out there in front by a ways, they are at A&M and Texas next weekend, and at our place the final game. We are still in the race to win this thing.”
OU faces its final road weekend of the regular season at Texas A&M and Texas. The Sooners return to work on Friday, Oct. 22 at No. 7 Texas A&M at 7 p.m. The Sooners broke a 14-game losing streak to the Aggies last season with a 3-1 win in Norman.
On Sunday, Oct. 24, the Sooners will battle the Texas Longhorns in Austin at 7 p.m.