Sept. 17, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. -- Amy Petrikin scored her fourth goal in as many games as Oklahoma posted an impressive 2-0 win over Brigham Young on Saturday at John Crain Field. It marked the Sooners’ first meeting with the Cougars, which are ranked No. 20 in TopDrawerSoccer.com’s poll this week.
“Anytime you get a win against a ranked opponent, you consider it a big win,” said OU Head Coach Nicole Nelson. “It’s a really quality opponent. I think its a great win for our team.”
The victory bumped OU’s overall record above .500 at 5-4 while BYU dropped to 4-3-2. The Sooners have won four out of their last five games.
Saturday was also OU’s first shutout since the season-opening win over Alabama Birmingham. The blanking of the Cougars wasn’t easy as OU was without starting defenders Carrie Whigham and Kathryn Watson for the third straight game.
“Again, they just keep stepping up,” added Nelson. “We have, every week, had to move people in new positions because of injury. I am really proud of this group.”
Petrikin is one of those players that changed positions, moving up to the forward position after starting the year on defense. She put OU on the board at the 16:43 mark off a cross from Samantha Howell. The assist from Howell put Petrikin directly in front of the BYU goal and against goalkeeper McKinzie Olson, and the one timer by Petrikin put OU ahead 1-0.
“It’s really just a blessing to play forward, and just to play at all at this level,” said Petrikin, “and scoring is just the icing on the cake.”
Four minutes later, Michelle Alexander tied Petrikin for the team lead in goals with her fourth score of the season in the 21st minute. Alexander followed up a save by Olson after she deflected Dria Hampton’s shot to her left. It marked Hampton’s team leading third assist of the season, and the 12th of her career, moving her into sole possession of sixth place all-time at OU.
The Sooners finished the first half with a 2-0 lead and a 6-1 advantage in shots. The Sooners had two things working in their favor after 45 minutes, scoring first and holding a lead at halftime. After Saturday, OU is 5-0 when scoring first this season and 5-0 when holding a halftime lead.
“This is a team, though, that you were never comfortable with the fact that you had a two-goal lead,” said Nelson on BYU’s offense. “They are a team that does not go away. They worked up until the final seconds of the game.”
The Cougars entered the game with a four-game unbeaten streak, including wins over Idaho State, Cal State Fullerton and Arizona. They suffered a 2-1 overtime loss on Thursday night at No. 2 Oklahoma State. The Cougars have not lost two straight games since the 2008 season.
The Sooners have two more non-conference games left on the schedule before Big 12 play begins.
OU hits the road for a pair of games away from Norman, starting with Monday’s contest at 7 p.m at LSU. The two last met in 2009, a 4-0 win for the Tigers at home. OU is 0-3-1 all-time against LSU.
Following the game in Baton Rouge, OU will conclude the week with a showdown with New Mexico in Albuquerque at 6 p.m. CT. OU leads the all-time series, 2-1, after winning the last meeting in 2003, a 2-1 Sooner victory in Norman.