SALT LAKE CITY — At least Oklahoma didn’t return home completely empty-handed from its road trip to Utah.
Thursday, up two goals to 11th-ranked BYU, the Sooners succumbed to late pressure from the Cougars and fell 3-2.
Sunday, at Utah, the Sooners forged a 1-1 tie with the Utes.
Still, while that may have been progress for OU (3-6-1), letting the lead slip away with less than 12 minutes remaining had to be a reminder of what happened three days earlier in Provo.
“We have done the hard part on the road to go ahead early. Now we have to learn to finish the game out,” OU soccer coach Matt Potter said. “I can’t help but feel that we became a better team this weekend.”
The Sooners netted the game’s first goal about 5 minutes into the second half when Daisy Cardona corralled a ball Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke let get away, making for an easy tally.
It was Cardona’s third goal in four games and her fourth of the season.
Utah tied it up in the 78th minute when Avery Ford beat Sooner keeper Kassadie Stade.
Utah (4-1-4) outshot OU 14-11, though it was the Sooners with a 7-6 advantage putting the ball on goal.
A physical game, the two sides combined to commit 33 fouls (OU 16, Utah 17), though the Utes had more opportunities with their set pieces, earning nine corner kicks to the Sooners’ three.
At the very least, OU returned home knowing they belong on the field with a couple strong teams.
“We have competed with two established programs who will do well in their respective conferences,” Potter said.
Next up for OU is the dawn of conference competition. The Sooners are at Baylor’s Betty Lou Mays Field at 7 p.m. Friday.