Sept. 7, 2007
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The OU soccer team improved to 3-0 on the season with a 2-1 win over host William & Mary in the Tribe Invitational at Albert-Daily Field on Friday. Freshman Whitney Palmer scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute in the first meeting between the teams.
The Tribe built an early 1-0 lead in the first half, but the Sooners countered with two unanswered goals in the final 45 minutes.
A perennial NCAA team, William and Mary had not lost a game at home in 17 straight contests dating back to Sept. 4, 2005, against Dartmouth (lost 2-1 in overtime).
"I am really proud of this team," said OU head coach Randy Evans. "I saw a lot of young and inexperienced players grow up in 90 minutes of action tonight and it resulted in a win."
William & Mary struck first and scored on free kick in the first half. Danielle Collins gave the Tribe the lead in the 16th minute and William & Mary held a 4-3 edge in the shot column after 45 minutes of play.
However, the Sooners increased their attack before halftime and carried that momentum into the second half.
"We got off to a shaky start against a good team in a hostile environment," added Evans. "We took over the game right before the half and came back strong. We found more possession and gained some confidence to complete a solid comeback."
Three of the Sooners' nine shots in the game came during the final 10 minutes of the first half.
After halftime, senior Tenesha Duncan put OU on the board with her second goal of the season. Duncan scored off a corner kick served from freshman Kelsey Allison, which first found senior Allyson Kucera in the box. After Kucera headed the corner kick, Duncan settled the ball and blasted it in the back of the net. Kucera and Allison were both credited with assists on the play at the 57:48 mark.
Less than thirty minutes later, Palmer, one of six freshmen to start for OU this season, produced her third game-winning goal of the year.
Senior Shana All set up the scoring play on a pass up the middle and Palmer took possession and beat two Tribe defenders before tallying her fourth goal of the season.
Earlier in the half, Palmer, who entered the weekend tied for the Big 12 lead in goals scored, had another chance to take the lead but the shot was punched over the crossbar by Tribe goalie Meghan Walker.
"She (Whitney) has come up big for us this year," added Evans. "She is an exciting player to watch and just one of many talented players on this team. The offense was solid and I also thought our back line (Lauren Harris, Katie Corbitt, Ashley Bolden, Tiana Dickson and Jenny Nichols) played great tonight."
Nichols finished the game in goal with four saves and improved to 3-0 on the season. Her counterpart, Walker, suffered the loss after recording three saves on the evening.
The Sooners and Tribe finished the game with nine shots apiece and OU held a slight advantage in corner kicks (4-3).
The Sooners will conclude action in the Tribe Invitational against Virginia Commonwealth (1-2) on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Rams picked up their first win of the season earlier in the day after defeating Maine, 2-0 at Albert-Daily Field.