OU Drops Final Home Match to West Virginia
NORMAN – The Oklahoma soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 16 West Virginia Sunday afternoon in the final home game of the 2018 season.
The Sooners, who have scored at least one goal in 15 of 17 games this season and in six of eight Big 12 games, tallied their lone goal in the second half thanks to junior Ivanna Rivas.
“I think the fact Ivana found a way onto the score sheet is indicative to the season she's had,” head coach Matt Potter said. “She's led the line and her industry is an incredible asset she has and everyone else can feed off of that, so she was justly rewarded today, for another day where she's worked hard. That's pleasing and obviously we can carry this lesson into Baylor on Thursday.”
Rivas took a shot on a pass from freshman Megan Reilly, but the attempt was blocked by the WVU keeper. The junior collected her own rebound, fought a group of WVU defenders and found the back of the net for her fifth goal of the season.
The Sooners faced a 3-0 deficit after the first 45 minutes, the most goals allowed in a half this season.
"It was an interesting game,” Potter said. “We didn't stick to our game plan early in the game and then we found ourselves on our heels and two goals down. You can't afford to give a team like West Virginia a two-goal cushion.”
WVU got on the board early with a give-and-go goal from Bianca St. Georges in the third minute. In the 19th minute, the Mountaineers extended their lead with a goal from Hannah Abraham off a free kick.
In the 28th minute, Abraham struck again on a shot from six-yards out that slipped in just under the crossbar. A foul in the penalty box in the 61st minute from St. Georges would make it 4-1 WVU.
“When you are playing a team like West Virginia, you have got to be able to manage the emotion and demands of the game and we didn't do that at the beginning of the game,” Potter said. “So, rightfully so, West Virginia leaves the victorious team."
The Sooners’ best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute on a shot from senior Marissa McMahand. Freshman Hailey Davidson sent a beautiful cross inside the 18-yard box to a waiting McMahand. McMahand collected the ball and sent her shot toward the upper corner of the goal, just hitting the crossbar.
OU had its chances to come back in the second half. Sophomore Emma Ledbetter had a beautiful curving shot that narrowly missed the inside of the post in the 62nd minute. In the 80th-minute, a free kick by junior Kristina O’Donnell from the top of the penalty box went over the crossbar.
Redshirt junior Kaylee Dao took a penalty kick in the 85th minute but couldn’t convert as the shot went off the crossbar.
“Interestingly, we kind of grew a little bit in the game and did create our own chances in front of the goal and the score line could have been a little bit different,” Potter said. “At halftime, we talked about let's do ourselves justice for all the people who come out to watch us on a consistent basis. I thought we did do ourselves justice in the second half. We gave a good account of us in the second half, as we created and showed an ability to possess the ball.”
The final game of the regular season is set for Thursday, Oct. 25, at Baylor. The Big 12 Tournament will kick off on Sunday, Oct. 28 in Kansas City, Mo.