NORMAN — The Sooners just can’t buy a break.
Just one week after a heartbreaking loss to rival Oklahoma State, OU suffered a 2-1 home defeat Friday at the hands of No. 15 Texas Tech.
Texas Tech came out ready to play, registering a shot on goal in the first minute. Contrary to the Sooners’ last opponent, the OSU Cowgirls, the Red Raiders prefer a controlled style. They make the easy pass, spread the field and place a high value on possession.
What the Red Raiders lack in outright talent, they make up for with sound strategy and playing within their means.
OU saw little of the ball to start the game, but managed to create more chances, outshooting Texas Tech 15-10 on the game.
One early chance was born out of midfielder Jemma Cota’s defensive efforts. Cota stole the ball in the backfield, nutmegged a Tech defender with a centering pass to forward Devin Barrett cutting toward the box. It fizzled out when Barrett tried to find forward Daisy Cardona in the air on the right sideline.
The buildup was good, but the Sooners couldn’t finish the building, their counter attack rarely developing in full because Texas Tech never pushed too hard and found itself out of place.
After a tough first half, the Sooners were the first to strike after the break.
Midfielder Abby Hodgen’s corner sailed into the box and Madison Kinzer’s header dropped gracefully into the bottom right corner.
“I was ready. I’ve gone in for corner kicks every game and I was ready to get my chance to score a goal,” Kinzer said.
She didn’t have long to celebrate.
Less than a minute later, with 28 minutes remaining, Texas Tech midfielder Alli Murphy scored from 25 yards out on a right-footed shot that sailed over Kassadie Stade and found the top left corner.
“It was two good teams trying to play and we knew that chances were going to be few and far between. We found a way to get in front and credit them for getting back into the game. We’re obviously disappointed in the manner that it happened and then, obviously to go down a goal against a top 25 team is very difficult, especially when we’ve created the chances to go back up,” OU coach Matt Potter said. “Ultimately, we were the aggressor towards the end of the game and on a different day maybe it bounces our way. This is one that we’re going to look back on that maybe we thought let get away.”
The Red Raiders’ go-ahead goal came with 10 minutes remaining.
Jaelen Hinkle took the ball down the left sideline and played a grounded cross into the box. After holding strong all game, Stade was frozen and helpless as Jessica Fuston banged it home from point-blank range.
With time winding down, OU midfielder Zoe Dickson again weaved through the defense, taking a hard ground shot from just outside the box. The Texas Tech keeper made a diving save, but it looked to cross the line anyway.
But the final word was no goal.
“I thought it was going in, but at the end of the day the refs have the last say,” Dickson said.
With two minutes remaining, the Red Raiders were locking down. Where OU failed to hold the lead (even for a full minute), Tech would not.
For having so many chances, the Sooners couldn’t buy a goal when they needed one most. It’s a recurring theme for a team that insists it’s better than the results it’s getting.
“Nobody likes losing. It’s always a struggle, losing, but you’ve just got to turn it around and think about next game,” Dickson said.
At 1 p.m. Sunday OU (3-9-1) will continue the hunt for its first conference win when they host Iowa State at John Crain Field.
Dickson said this team is overdue for a win.
That’s an understatement.
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