NORMAN – A balanced offensive attack and goals from Kaylee Dao and Kristina O’Donnell helped the Oklahoma soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Illinois Sunday afternoon at the OU Soccer Complex.
"I thought we did a really great job of creating chances,” head coach Matt Potter said. “In terms of creating chances, we just got to show the ability to take the responsibility to finish them. We got into good areas and people seemed to want to give someone else the opportunity to score versus taking it on themselves, but that happens sometimes. The good news is we were creating it and learning as we have got to be a little bit more selfish and have that killer instinct inn front of goal."
The Sooners snapped a two-game losing skid with the victory, improving to 2-4-1 on the season, while the Illini fell to 3-4-0. McKinley Crone picked up the second win of her freshman campaign in goal, notching four saves.
A perfectly executed set piece in the 24th minute gave Oklahoma a 1-0 lead. Marissa McMahand took a corner kick, finding O’Donnell in the box. O’Donnell headed the ball just past the Illinois keeper for her first career goal.
In the 51st minute, Dao found the back of the net for her second goal of the season. A long free kick from McMahand was sent into a cluster of Sooners and Illini in the box. After a deflection off an Illinois defender, Dao needed just one touch to slot the ball into the net, giving Oklahoma the 2-0 lead. The redshirt sophomore now has six game-winning goals in her career.
The Illini would cut into the Sooners lead in the second half on a penalty kick in the 64th minute by Katie Murray.
"Our product was much better than it has been on the field of late,” Potter said. “We kind of lost our way a little bit in the second half after doing the hard work of going up a couple of goals. It made it a little bit more difficult for ourselves, but overall when you are back to winning ways it's always a good thing."
OU out-shot Illinois at a 12-10 clip, with seven shots being on goal. Dao led the way with three shots, while O’Donnell, McMahand and Jordan Hobart each recorded a pair.
The Sooners are back in action this weekend with a two-game road trip to California. OU will face the University of California on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT, followed by a Sunday afternoon match at the University of San Francisco at 3 p.m. CT.
Single-game and mini-plan season tickets are currently on sale for OU soccer. Fans can visit SoonerSports.com/tickets or call 405-325-2424 for more information.