|Shots on Goal||5||3|
|OU: Rachel Ressler (14)||Lizzie Luallin (18)||26:37|
|OU: Devin Barrett (8)||u/a||40:03|
|OU: Kaitlyn Fahrner||90:00||0||5|
|OSU: Rosa Medina||90:00||2||1|
|Player of the Game|
|Kaitlyn Fahrner // RFr. // GK
Fahrner made her first career start for the Sooners in Bedlam and performed like a veteran. Fahrner made five saves for Oklahoma, warding off Cowgirl scoring attempts from 14 total shots and five corners.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Round one of Bedlam is in the books, and the early lead goes to the Sooners.
The Oklahoma soccer team downed the Cowgirls on Friday night in Norman, pounding in two goals in the first half to finish with a 2-0 season-opening victory. A crowd of 1,887 fans took in the match at John Crain Field in the OU Soccer Complex.
Sophomore Rachel Ressler and junior Devin Barrett each punched in goals for OU, while Caren Nelson led all Sooners with four shots on the night.
The victory marked head coach Matt Potter's 100th career coaching win after amassing 88 victories at Washington State prior to his arrival at OU.
"Those victories belong to the student-athletes and the staffs I've worked with," Potter said. "I've had the privilege of coaching. It's not about me, it's about a group of people and it will always be that way to me.
"Most importantly, we wanted to start the season right with a gritty performance and one that we could build from. That’s what we are talking about, still building to get better. Today is obviously a great platform. Bedlam brings out something special in both teams and in both sets of staffs. It’s one game under our belt, but it’s a good one."
Oklahoma State fired two shots in the first eight minutes of play, with goalkeeper Kaitlyn Fahrner making saves on both to establish an early tone to the game. A corner kick by defender Laura Rayfield in the 12th minute gave the Sooners a look at the goal, but the Cowgirls responded by clearing the ball.
OSU got one of its best scoring chances of the night in the 26th minute when Niki McKnight fired in a shot that dinged off the top crossbar, narrowly missing its intended destination.
The Sooners responded just seconds later when Ressler drove the ball in on a right-footed strike from ten yards out off an assist from true freshman Lizzie Luallin. Ressler's goal, the first of her career, put OU up 1-0 in the 26th minute.
Oklahoma State fought back minutes later, sending in two shots to try for a response to OU's goal. Fahrner's defense was airtight as the redshirt freshman made saves on both shots to keep OSU off the board.
The Sooners struck again in the 40th minute as Barrett fired a long-range shot from 45 yards out was fumbled off OSU keeper Rose Medina. OU carried the 2-0 lead into halftime, and the Sooners didn't look back.
It was a gritty second half of play for both teams, with players trading shots, fouls and saves throughout the final 45 minutes of action. OSU took three corners and six shots in the second half but OU's defense doubled down, clearing the ball and battling back at every opportunity. Potter utilized his increased depth to Oklahoma's advantage, giving 17 total players time on the field throughout the match.
Nelson fired two of her four shots in the second half, including a last minute attempt in the 89th minute that sailed wide right of the goal as time expired.
It was all smiles and a dogpile for the Sooners, who start the season at 1-0-0 and take an early lead in the Bedlam series.
Fahrner finished the night with five saves and no goals allowed in her first career start.
"Kaitlyn showed a lot of poise," Potter said. "That’s something that we want out of our goalkeepers. Great organization skills. That’s important. When the pace needed to be picked up she picked it up, and when they needed calmed down she calmed them down."
The Sooners will be back in action this Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Norman. OU will welcome Utah to John Crain Field for its second contest of the 2014 season, with a live broadcast of the match on Fox College Sports Central (FCSC).