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Cowgirls fall in Bedlam match, split series with Sooners

OSU Bedlam Soccer (38 of 40).jpg

NORMAN -- Goalkeeper Dani Greenlee jumped, but all she could do was watch the ball sail over her head.

A last-minute goal gave Oklahoma a 2-1 Bedlam victory against the Oklahoma State women’s soccer team on Sunday in Norman.

With the score tied at 1 and only three minutes left in regulation, the Cowgirls seemed to be headed to their second overtime match of the weekend.

But in the 87th minute, the Sooners found themselves in their opponent’s box. OSU had a couple of chances to clear the ball but failed to do so, allowing OU’s Kristina O’Donnell to find enough space to put a shot past Greenlee.

There wasn’t enough time on the clock for the Cowgirls to respond, giving OU the victory and splitting the Bedlam soccer series for the year.

Coach Colin Carmichael said he saw similarities between the loss and OSU’s only other defeat this year, which came against Illinois.

“It wasn’t good enough, to be quite honest,” Carmichael said.  “We’ve had two games this year where I felt like our energy level and enthusiasm weren’t good enough, and they happened to be two losses for us.”

The Cowgirls were missing some key players heading into the game. Junior Jaci Jones and sophomore Taylor Olson were sidelined with injuries they suffered Friday.

With the Cowgirls and Sooners coming off double-overtime games earlier in the weekend, the match had a sloppy start. Neither side mounted a significant attack, though the Sooners controlled the ball for most of the opening frame.

The Cowgirls had a rough first half offensively. Senior forward Haley Woodard received passes up the field multiple times, but with little help running with her, Sooner defenders quickly swarmed her.

“Sometimes you just have off days,” said sophomore Camy Huddleston. “All we need to do is learn from it and move on and know that we can’t have an off day when we’re playing teams like this in the Big 12.”

The game was stagnant for the first 64 minutes of play. But that changed when Huddleston sent a ball up the left side of the field for Woodard.

Woodard raced down the sideline past a defender and then cut inside before firing a shot to the far post past a diving keeper to give the Cowgirls a 1-0 lead.

OU responded quickly, scoring the equalizer seven minutes later.

There was a scramble in front of the net with the ball bouncing off multiple players and the post before landing at the feet of OU’s Emily Parker, who easily knocked it into the left side of the net.

Through the first 13 matches of the season, the Cowgirls employed a two-goalkeeper system with Greenlee and redshirt freshman Hannah Warner each receiving a half in goal.

But because of an injury Warner suffered Friday against Texas, Greenlee received 90 minutes in goal, making seven saves.

Despite allowing two goals, Greenlee had a solid performance from Carmichael’s perspective.

“The second goal, she had no chance, and the first one was a scramble,” Carmichael said. “But other than that, she was solid. She did what she had to do.”

After the Cowgirls had a seven-game winning streak coming into this weekend, they exit with a tie and a loss.

“Our work rate and competing and making runs and activity and energy is so important for this team’s success,” Carmichael said. “For whatever reason today, we were missing that.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com