NORMAN — The Sooners couldn’t have asked for a better start Friday night at home against the Cowgirls.
After just five minutes they were up 1-0 off of a set piece goal from Zoe Dickson, whose cracker from 25 yards out zipped past Oklahoma State’s keeper.
For the next 86 minutes Oklahoma was the better team, but that didn’t extend into the second overtime period, where OSU prevailed for a 2-1 final.
The Sooners controlled possession and thwarted the Cowgirls’ every build-up with tenacious closeouts and unrelenting energy.
The first half was entirely Oklahoma’s, but keeping up with the Cowgirls took its toll.
By the second half, OSU was finding its form again and finding more chances on goal, logging 10 shots to the Sooners’ three.
With the shots piling up, Sooner keeper Kassidie Stade racked up eight saves, while OU’s back line continued to frustrate OSU’s dangerous duo of forwards.
Both teams were looking for the counter, but found the defenses too quick and thoroughly prepared for the over-the-top through ball approach.
With time winding down, the Cowgirls continued to press, sacrificing discipline for desperation and speed.
They found ways to create chances, but the Sooners seemed determined.
Then, everything came unglued.
An OSU corner kick from the right flag found its way to Natalie Calhoun at the front post, whose glancing header to the back left corner knotted the score at 1-1.
The home crowd of 2.025 at John Crain Field fell silent as if the ball had opened a vacuum in space when it crossed the goal line.
“We were doing so well and to have a goal like that come in ... it’s disappointing. We have to be more disciplined on set pieces, but other than that I think we did really well,” Stade said.
Before overtime, OU keeper said coach Matt Potter told them to stay aggressive and keep pushing.