NORMAN – Trailing 1-0 late in the second half, the Oklahoma soccer team used a pair of goals to take down No. 12 Oklahoma State, 2-1, Sunday afternoon in the second Bedlam game of the season. The win marked the first victory over a ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 25 Loyola Marymount on Aug. 21, 2016 in Norman.
Senior Emily Parker netted the equalizer for the Sooners with her second goal of the season and junior Kristina O’Donnell lifted OU to victory with her first goal of the year and first career game-winner.
That goal celebration though! pic.twitter.com/Z7L7qAwL8v— Oklahoma Soccer (@OU_WSoccer) September 30, 2018
“Bedlam is always a special occasion for obvious reasons,” head coach Matt Potter said. “It means a lot to all of the people in the state. This game… you try to play it down with less significance because it is just another game in a long season. It’s never bad to win games, and that’s the thing about today. We found a way to win a game on a Sunday. That’s important because you want to be a team that competes at the end of the season. Today is a positive step towards that.”
Four of the last five Bedlam games have been decided by a score of 2-1 with the Cowgirls earning the victory in the last four. After dropping the non-conference meeting between the two teams on Aug. 19, the Sooners claimed their first win over OSU since 2016.
“The reality was that it was a really tight game. It was really close, even, and back-and-forth. You can see how incredibly special (OSU’s) Haley Woodard is. What a great finish for her. That kind of challenges them, but the message at halftime was ‘can we play a little bit more? Can we get the ball into the attacking third of the field and keep it there a little bit better to find that right moment to score?’ As you can see from the two goals, that’s what happened.”
OU is now 2-1-1 in conference, putting them in second place in the current Big 12 standings. Overall, the Sooners are 6-5-2 and have doubled their win total from the 2017 season.
O’Donnell netted the game-winner on an incredible goal from 16 yards out in the 88th minute. Redshirt sophomore Kaylee Dao drove the ball into the box but was caught in a scrum of OSU defenders. As a Cowgirl attempted to clear the ball, O’Donnell took her chance, firing a shot into the upper corner out of reach of the OSU keeper.
“My team needed me,” O’Donnell said. “We needed to finish this game and the only way that was going to happen is if I put that away and I’m glad I was able to pull through for my team.”
Trailing 1-0, the Sooners netted the equalizer in the 71st minute on senior Emily Parker’s second goal of the season. Senior Marissa McMahand sent a header into the far corner, but the shot went off the post. Parker was in the right place at the right time, collecting the rebound and punching it in past the OSU keeper.
“I think it just really changed the momentum of the game,” Parker said. “The game had been going back and forth and then they scored. It could have been so easy for our team to get down on ourselves and then getting that goal just gave us all the momentum we needed to get that final second win.”
OSU found the back of the net in the 64th minute with a goal from Haley Woodard. Woodard made a run down the sideline, crossing the ball to the far post just out of the reach of OU keeper McKinley Crone.
The Sooners finished with an 18-12 shot advantage and a 9-7 shot-on-goal advantage. Junior Ivanna Rivas led all players with three shots, including two on goal and 12 athletes tallied at least one shot for the Sooners.
The Sooners are back in action on Friday, Oct. 5. OU will welcome TCU to Norman for an 8 p.m. kickoff.
“For the team our expectations every year are to compete for championships,” Potter said. “The challenge is the Big 12 is, RPI-wise, right now is one of the top tiers in the country. Every game everybody is capable of getting a result against everybody else, so we have to, probably first and foremost, rest. Do those things right to prepare ourselves for a tough TCU team next week. But every game is a tough game at this stage of the season.”