NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma women’s soccer team continued its stellar start to the 2014 season by shocking No. 6 Florida, 2-1, in Norman, Oklahoma.
Backed by a resolute defensive performance, an early goal from sophomore Rachel Ressler and a well-taken second half penalty kick from senior Abby Hodgen, the Sooners (2-0-1) managed to pull off one of the biggest wins during coach Matt Potter’s tenure.
“I think you could say it’s the biggest win based on Florida being highly ranked,” said Hodgen. “It’s a huge win for us, especially following the first weekend when people thought it was just a fluke and we got lucky. I think it shows how much work we have put in.”
OU's Rachel Ressler tucked a beautiful backheel shot into the bottom left corner of the goal in the sixth minute to give the Sooners an early 1-0 lead. The play started with a cross from Caren Nelson, which was touched along by Chelsea Jackson to set up the great finish by Ressler.
After gaining the early advantage, the Sooners dug in and played great defense, keeping the Gators’ attack at bay and scoreless for the rest of the opening frame.
What. A. Night. #Sooners still undefeated w/ first win over a top ten foe since 2011--jump on board folks, it's gonna be a fun one.— Oklahoma Soccer (@OU_WSoccer) August 30, 2014
In the 63rd minute, OU scored what turned out to be the game winner. Freshman Lizzy Luallin dribbled down the right side of the attacking third, beating her defender and cutting into the box. After beating the first Gator, a Florida defender helplessly lunged in and took Luallin down, drawing a penalty kick.
Hodgen walked up to the spot and fired a shot past UF's Taylor Burkeand into the left-side netting to give the Sooners’ their insurance goal.
After the second score, Florida (2-1-0) amped up the attack with even more pressure on the OU backline, firing a number of shots at Oklahoma keeper Kaitlyn Fahrner. Fahrner stood firm, tallying four saves on the night.
After many attempts, the Gators managed to pull within one in the 72nd minute as Savannah Jordan fired a shot off the left post from close range that found the back of the net.
The Sooners conclude the weekend on Sunday, hosting another top-10 squad in No. 2 Florida State.