KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Oklahoma soccer coach Matt Potter’s Sooners finally have a win in their pocket.
Through two exhibitions and a season opener, it hadn’t happened. But against Kennesaw State, in a neutral-site game played at Tennessee’s Regal Soccer Stadium, the Sooners made it happen.
Broken Arrow true freshman Madison Saliba played the star, netting a pair of first-half goals less than 2 minutes apart, setting the Sooners (1-1) up for their 2-0 victory.
“This was a very encouraging team performance, especially with the constant changes and playing time we were able to get for different players today,” Potter said. “The performance showed great maturity and growth. We managed the conditions and the game much better than the last, and that allowed us to dictate large parts of the game.”
Friday night, inside the same stadium, the Sooners fell 3-1 to Tennessee.
However, against the Owls, OU dominated by way of a 12-3 shot advantage, a 7-2 shots-on-goal advantage and seven corner kicks to the Owls’ one.
Saliba didn’t start the game, but perhaps she will when the Sooners return to the pitch, in Stillwater, for the first of the season’s two Bedlam contests on Friday.
Both Saliba’s tallies were unassisted, coming at the 27:50 and 29:35 marks of the first half.
The first was a corner kick that slipped through Owl goalkeeper Olivia Sturdivant’s hands into the net’s top right corner. The second came on a deep free kick.
“Our possession is improving, and to get two goals from set pieces was exciting,” Potter said. “The discipline and focus to keep a clean sheet was pleasing.”
Stopping two shots, Sooner keeper Miranda Larkin, a true freshman from Rockwell, Texas, posted her first shutout.