Salt Lake City, Utah -- The Oklahoma soccer team battled to a 1-1 tie in double-overtime against Utah on Sunday afternoon to close the Sooners' 2013 non-conference slate. OU (3-6-1) and the Utes (4-1-4) ground out a defensive battle that resulted in the Sooners' first overtime contest of the 2013 season and Utah's fourth. Oklahoma limited the Utes to one goal in 110 minutes of play; prior to Sunday's contest, Utah was outscoring its 2013 opponents by a margin of 17-3.
"We have done the hard part on the road to go ahead early; now we have to learn to finish the game out," head coach Matt Potter said. "I can't help but feel that we became a better team this weekend. We have competed with two established programs who will do well in their respective conferences--especially at home."
The Sooners and the Utes battled through a scoreless first half, marking the third time this season OU has played to a 0-0 tie a half. Oklahoma's offensive attack put pressure on Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke, forcing Luke to make four saves on four shots to maintain the tie. Utah fired four shots as well, but three went either high or wide of the goal and OU goalkeeper Kassadie Stade made a save on a fourth.
A stellar second-effort by Daisy Cardona gave Oklahoma a 1-0 lead shortly after the second half opened in the 49th minute. After Luke fumbled the ball near the box, Cardona stole the ball away and fired in her fourth goal of the season and her third goal in four matches. Utah responded by sending a shot at Stade minutes later, but Stade scooped up the save to keep the Utes off the board.
The Sooners continued to put offensive pressure on Utah as the second half rolled on, posting three shots in under three minutes to keep Luke on her toes in the goal. The Utes struck back in the 78th minute of play when Avery Ford slipped a ball past Stade to tie things up at 1-1. Utah fired four more shots before the end of regulation play, including three on goal, but Stade made three big saves to maintain the tie and send the match to overtime.
The match remained scoreless through the first overtime despite a trio of shots by the Sooners. Abby Hodgen and Cardona both posted shots that sailed wide of the goal, and Lisa Robinson sent in a shot on goal that Luke got in front of to keep the score at 1-1. The second overtime was pure defense, with no shots from either team and only a duo of fouls to mark the game's final ten minutes of play.
"We learned something new today as we dealt with overtime," Potter said. "That bodes well for our conference season. We'll leave Utah knowing we have much to offer as a team and that, with smarts, we can compete with anyone."
Oklahoma opens Big 12 conference play next weekend as it goes on the road to face No. 13 Baylor in Waco, Texas at Betty Lou Mays Field. The Sooners and the Lady Bears are set to square off on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. CT. OU's Big 12 home opener and second of two Bedlam matchups this season will take place at the OU Soccer Complex on Friday, Oct. 4.