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Shotgun silencing shutout

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OSU midfielder Grace Yochum looks for an opening during the Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma Bedlam soccer match on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at John Crain Field in Norman, Ok.

Ben Hutchens and Sam Hutchens break down OSU's 1-0 victory over OU.

Amid the chanting, heckling and cheering that is commonplace in the rowdy atmosphere that always accompanies a Bedlam game, one sound never rang out — the blast of a blank charge from the shotgun of an OU Ruf/Nek.

Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 1-0 on Thursday night in Norman. Because OU was held scoreless, there was no opportunity for the Sooner cheer squad to shoot off their shotguns after a goal.

“Our defense was solid,” junior midfielder Grace Yochum said. “You’ve got Ally, Ki and Kim back there and they are all great defenders. They come up huge for us game in and game out and they did that tonight.”

One element that may have helped hold the Cowgirl defense steady was a steady presence of wind. The flags at John Crain Field whipped around with gusto all night long.

“There were a couple balls that went in the air and you think that it’s coming straight down and then it curves and goes a different direction,” senior wingback Hannah Webb said. “That was definitely a challenge this game.”

Coach Colin Carmichael said that the ever-present gusts seemed to impact the strategy for the Sooners. People on the OU bench implored their teammates to play the ball up in the air when on the attacking end of the field to put the Cowgirl defense in tricky situations.

Regardless of the Sooner game plan, the Cowgirl backline was able to navigate the difficult situations they faced and earn a shutout victory.

“I thought they stood up to the long balls and the high balls that OU was serving,” Carmichael said. “They were playing for a lot of free kicks and corners and testing our backline. (The defense) stood tall.”

The game marked the seventh time that the Sooners (0-7-1 )have been shutout this season — a startling trend when taking into account they have only played eight games all year.

Although OSU (6-2-1) held a decisive edge in the standings against OU, the rivalry game was hotly contested.

There was not a wealth of scoring chances for either team, but OSU smartly used challenging conditions and disciplined defense to secure a win.

“The conditions made it hard for either team to play really good soccer…. sometimes it’s not going to be pretty,” Carmichael said. “You have to battle and find a way. Really proud of our kids for doing that.”