Sunday, August 19, 2012

Soccer: Sooners Defeat Huskers, 2-1

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Matt Potter era began Friday with a 2-1 win over visiting Nebraska behind a pair of goals from newcomer Renae Cuellar (KWAY-ar) in front of 832 fans at John Crain Field.

"Obviously, Renae is a talent and we all know that," said Potter. "She had her individual moments for sure, but people found her. When those people find her, she is going to be dangerous. It's a collective effort. Renae received the reward for some great endeavor from some other people tonight."

The Sooners also received a stellar effort in goal by senior Kelsey Devonshire, who made seven second half saves to limit Nebraska to one goal after the Huskers struck first in the 19th minute.

"She made some fantastic saves to keep us in the game," said Potter on Devonshire. "Nebraska was a very competitive team and it gives us a great lesson for future games. All in all, its a great win."

Cuellar, a senior transfer from the University of Arizona, provided the Sooners with the equalizer at the 24:55 mark. The opportunity came off a penalty kick after a Nebraska defender was called for a hand ball in the box.

In the 68th minute in the second half, Cuellar struck again. This time she took a pin-point cross from Emily Bowman and converted the game winner past NU goalkeeper Emma Stevens.

The forward nearly became the third Sooner in program history to record a hat trick, but a shot from 20 yards out bounced down off the cross bar and was ruled to bounce in front of the goal line.

"I think the hustle and effort of my teammates set things up, offensively, and fortunately, I put away those chances," said Cuellar. "That's what I came here to do. I am just trying to help the Sooners be the best they can be."

The win over the Huskers was the first for the Sooners since a home victory in 2004. OU is 3-12-1 all-time against Nebraska.

Friday's game marks the second-straight season-opening win for the Sooners, which are 8-3-1 in openers over the last 12 years. The win also marked the first by a Sooner head coach making his debut. Potter is the fourth head coach at Oklahoma and came to Norman after nine successful seasons at Washington State.The Sooners return to action on Monday night to continue the current four-game homestand against LSU. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start time at John Crain Field in Norman.

/// SoonerSports PR
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