SPOKANE, Wash. -- Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the second half, the Oklahoma soccer team surrendered a pair of late goals to fall by a score of 1-2 at the hands of Gonzaga. The Sooners posted four shots and two shots on goal in the match, all in the second half of play.
"We have shown so much growth throughout the preseason, culminating in this trip to the northwest," Head coach Matt Potter said. "While the result didn't go our way, the positives far outweigh the challenges. Going up a goal on the road is tough, especially against a talented Gonzaga team. The focus and discipline required to close out the game are the steps we need to take next."
OU's lone goal of the match came at the 73-minute mark in a cross from senior Kathryn Watson that a Gonzaga defender flicked into the goal, giving OU their first goal in preseason exhibition competition. Goalkeeper Kassadie Stade posted five saves on the afternoon, including four in the first half.
The contest between the teams proved to be evenly matched early, with OU keeping the game scoreless though the Bulldogs logged eight shots and four shots on goal. Stade was key in the effort, preventing a Gonzaga goal despite the Zags posting four shots on goal before the 16-minute mark. OU had multiple looks themselves, picking up five corner kicks in the first half.
After Gonzaga opened the second half with two corner kicks, OU got its first major offensive look of the game from a corner kick at the 50-minute mark. Freshman Shiloh Price logged the Sooners' first shot on goal of the contest, which was saved by GU goalkeeper Christie Tombari. Junior Abby Hodgen followed with a key defensive contribution, making a stop at the goal in Stade's stead to prevent a Bulldog goal.
Just 12 minutes later, Watson fired in a long ball that was edged in by a Gonzaga defender, giving OU their first goal of the preseason and a 1-0 advantage in the match.
At the 82-minute point, Gonzaga fired back on a goal from Sarah Carter to tie things up at 1-1. Six minutes later, the Bulldogs took a 2-1 advantage off a free kick, which would stand as the final score.
"Our preseason goals centered around preparing the team, promoting a mindset of growth, a greater knowledge among the group, and imprinting our vision and philosophies," Potter said. "We have then been able to compete every day and now see the new learning needed from the games."
OU closes preseason competition with a 0-1-1 record in exhibition games. The Sooners will open the 2013 campaign on the road next weekend, facing Tennessee on Aug. 23 in Knoxville. The match is slated for a 6 p.m. CT start.