Provo, Utah -- The Oklahoma soccer team held a 2-0 lead for over 83 minutes of play but surrendered three goals to No. 11 BYU in the final seven minutes of the match to fall 3-2 in non-conference play. BYU (6-1-1) avoided suffering back-to-back home losses for the first time since 2004, while Oklahoma (3-6-0) fell just short of notching their first win over a top 25 opponent since September 2012 (1-0, vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State).
"I'm so proud of the team this evening," head coach Matt Potter said. "We came of age tonight and showed the potential and consistent performance we are capable of. We give a lot of credit to BYU for finishing the way they did."
The Sooners struck fast and early, pulling ahead in the ninth minute on a perfectly-placed corner kick from Jemma Cota. Cota ricocheted the ball off the crossbar and Paige Jacobs used a header to quickly control the ball. Caren Nelson finished the play, firing it past BYU's goalkeeper for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Sooners extended their lead at the 27-minute mark when Madison Saliba fired in a cross from the right side that Daisy Cardona tipped into the goal. The goal gave Cardona her team-best third this season and pushed OU ahead 2-0.
The first half closed with a wild three minutes that saw Oklahoma's defense stifle multiple shot attempts from the Cougars and take their lead into halftime. BYU opened the second half with a similar aggressive pace, but the Sooner defense continued to keep the Cougars off the board through another 38 minutes of play.
Despite Kassadie Stade continually making athletic saves in the goal for OU, BYU was able to punch in a goal in the 83rd minute courtesy of Ella Johnson's efforts following a corner kick. Johnson's goal opened the floodgates for the Cougars, who would send in two more goals in the final seven minutes of action to earn the comeback victory. A Sooner red card allowed BYU to capitalize on a penalty kick and tie things up at 2-2 under two minutes later, and Jaiden Thornock sealed the win for the Cougars with an unassisted goal late in the 87th minute.
"It was an emotional locker room postgame, which shows they care and moments like these can define a team," Potter said. "We have much to celebrate and will travel to Utah on Sunday to build off of tonight."
Oklahoma will have a two-day break before they wrap up their non-conference slate on Sunday at Utah. The match is slated for a 2 p.m. CT start in Salt Lake City, Utah.