Sunday, September 7, 2014

OU Soccer Defeats Nebraska, 2-1

It was a veteran victory for the Oklahoma soccer team: coming from behind, winning in double-overtime, winning on the road in the first away game of the season.

The 20th-ranked Sooners used a golden goal in double overtime to top Nebraska, giving OU its first win in Lincoln against the Huskers since 2000. Oklahoma (3-1-1) posted a season-high 13 shots against NU (3-2-0) for its third win of the season.

"For the coaching staff, to say we are proud of this team is an understatement," head coach Matt Potter said. "Any time you go on the road and win it speaks to the character of your team. Nebraska is a very good program."

The Sooners encountered early adversity, falling behind 1-0 when Nebraska's Katie Kraeutner slipped the ball past goalkeeper Kaitlyn Fahrner in the melee following a corner kick.

"We were disappointed to have conceded the goal," Potter said. "To battle back and go on to win shows how we are maturing as a group."

OU began to settle into a rhythm following the goal. Husker Jaycie Johnson took a shot from the center of the box in the 17th minute, but Fahrner scooped up an easy save. Fahrner was an anchor point in OU's first half defensive efforts, making four saves to keep Nebraska from a second goal.

Oklahoma started finding offensive looks as the half progressed, with five different Sooners taking six total shots. Freshman Tori Bowman found one of OU's best chances in the final minutes of the first half, firing a shot that narrowly dinged off the left post in the 44th minute of play.

The second half became a possession battle with both teams fighting at midfield, but Oklahoma began to put pressure on the Nebraska defense as the half progressed..

The Sooners got a strong look in the 69th minute when Nebraska goalkeeper Kelly Schatz left the goal and Chelsea Jackson snagged the ball on the left side. Jackson's shot sailed wide left, but Oklahoma got another chance moments later on a corner kick.

That opportunity was all the Sooners needed when Rayfield delivered a corner that sophomore Ayana O'Neal sent into the goal on a header. O'Neal's first goal as a Sooner came at a crucial moment, giving OU new life on the equalizing score.

Oklahoma continued their second half press on Nebraska but could not find the go-ahead goal despite several opportunities. Shiloh Price took an opportunity on the right side in the 81st minute but send the shot wide left. Nebraska nearly found its own chance in the 88th minute when Caroline Gray fired in a free kick, but the ball dinged off the corner of the goal and the match headed to overtime.

Both teams had chances in the first overtime, with Fahrner making a big save off a backheel from Mayme Conroy and OU following up moments later with a shot from Jackson that was deflected off the crossbar.

The second overtime began with a major challenge to the OU defense as Nebraska was awarded four consecutive corner kicks. The defense responded valiantly, clearing out the ball and giving the Sooners an offensive opportunity.

A foul on Abby Hodgen in the 106th minute set up the chance Oklahoma needed. Rayfield set up the free kick and delivered a perfectly-placed ball in front of the net. After a deflection and assisting efforts from Bowman and Price, Kinzer set up and shot the game-winner past Schatz to give Oklahoma the 2-1 victory.

The Sooners will return home for a Sunday match against Central Arkansas in Norman. The contest is slated for a 1 p.m. CT start at John Crain Field with a live broadcast available on FCS Central.

Stat Comparison
CategoryOUNEB
Shots1311
Shots on Goal56
Corners36
Fouls23
Scoring Summary
PlayerAssistTime
NEB: Katie Kraeutneru/a5:08
OU: Ayana O'NealLaura Rayfield70:42
OU: Madison KinzerShiloh Price,
Tori Bowman
106:11
Goalkeepers
PlayerMinsGAS
OU: Kaitlyn Fahrner106:1115
NEB: Kelly Schatz106:1123
/// SoonerSports PR
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