By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — For the second time this season, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will square off on the pitch when the two teams tangle at 7 p.m. today at John Crain Field.
Even though it is a rematch of the Aug. 30 contest, the excitement of a rivalry game adds luster to the matchup.
“It always means more when you’re playing the game,” Yukon native Abby Hodgen said. “Watching it was fun, but when you’re on the field, you want to defend your school and have that win over OSU every year.”
However, it has not been a particularly banner year for either program. The Sooners and Cowgirls are at the bottom of the conference in shot attempts. However, while OSU is sixth in both points (45) and goals (17), OU is last in both categories.
The Sooners also trail the entire conference in assists and goals allowed. Those stats are not the makings of a successful season.
“Well, consistency of performance and when you get your opportunity in front of (the) goal, are two important factors that we’ve got to improve upon,” OU coach Matt Potter said. “We’ve created chances in every game played. If you don’t put those chances away, as other teams have done to us, then you’re not going to win games when you play good teams.”
Yet, Potter continues to see positives each week. That includes losing 1-0 to No. 12 Baylor in the team’s last outing.
“The past three performances, we saw that kind of improvement carry over into the Baylor game,” Potter said. “The players weren’t happy with the way things played out. So I think they look forward to their next opportunity (today).”
But unlike the other games Oklahoma has lost this year, Bedlam is a rematch from earlier in the season in Stillwater. The younger players shouldn’t be in awe of the moment.
“I think the group has shown once it has been in an environment, it’s dealt very well with a similar environment that comes along,” Potter said. “Having played in one Bedlam game, being on the road and having such a youthful group, I’m looking for the positives to come out of the learning.”
OSU is 18-3-3 all time against its Bedlam rival, including the 4-1 win in August’s non-conference game in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State comes into the night armed with 4-3-4 record while the Sooners are 3-7-1. But as with most rivalries, records tend to get thrown out the window.
I think as coaches, we sometimes try to play rivalry games off as just another match,” Potter said. “The reality is, that to a community, a university and a team, they’re a little more special than that. The Bedlam series, I’ve come to learn, is one of the most competitive and one of the most exciting and passionate in the nation. If you’ve grown up in this area, you’ve grown up with this rivalry. For some of us that have come to learn about it, you learn that it means a lot to people.”
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