Stillwater News Press

CNHI News Service State Sports

September 8, 2012

Lady Sooners upset No. 3 Cowgirls

NORMAN, Okla. — NORMAN — For those who thought it would take an act of God for unranked Oklahoma to topple No. 3 Oklahoma State … well, perhaps.

A dust storm had been raging in Norman for hours, the smell of flames was in the air and the temperature, as high as 104 degrees earlier in the day, had dropped 40 degrees by game’s end. There was lightning in the distance and rain on the pitch.  

A single goal from OU’s Renae Cuellar, unassisted, with 23:53 remaining, gave Oklahoma 1-0 victory — its first win against OSU in seven years. OSU (6-1-0) had been 10-0-1 in the previous 11 matches and owns a 17-3-2 record all-time against the Sooners.

The good news for the Cowgirls is Friday’s game wasn’t a Big 12 conference match. The Bedlam rivals will play their league contest Sept. 30 in Stillwater.

“You have to give credit to the Oklahoma kids. They played really hard,” OSU coach Colin Carmichael said. “Once they got the lead, they really sat in and defended it well and made it tough for us to break down.”

Oklahoma State outshot OU, 20-9, including a 14-3 margin in the final half. They owned a 10-1 advantage on corner kicks.

“If you create 20 shots on goal, you’ve got to score one. That’s where we’re disappointed,” Carmichael said. “We outshot them 14-3 in the second half, and you would hope to get a goal out of that, but we didn’t. That’s soccer for you. Some days you get outshot and win the game, that’s just how it goes sometime.”

OSU’s last chance came after a corner kick in which the Cowgirls had their entire team — even AD Franch, about 100 yards out of her net — on the attack. The ball reached Kendra Boydston about 12 yards out directly in front of the goal. Her right-footed blast went off the crossbar and over the goal.

Oklahoma State returns to action at noon Sunday when the Cowgirls play host to Rice.

“Now we just move on. We can’t pout about it. You have to bounce back on Sunday against a good Rice team.”

Though the Sooners  (4-2-1) had the best of it in the first 45 minutes, the Cowgirls were a tour de force after the half, outshooting the Sooners 14 to 3 in the final 45 minutes.

Of course, it’s all about putting it in the net and that’s what Cuellar did after receiving the ball about 40 yards from the net. She immediately passed the first defender who tried to make a play on the ball. Her remaining foes gave her some space.

“My goal was to just go right at them,” she said.

She dribbled just short of the penalty box and let rip with a waist-high right-footed drive that finished just beyond the outstretched arms of a diving Franch and just inside the right post.

The Cowgirls owned about 20 of the remaining minutes, but little developed into terrific chances. That’s the way it was throughout, with only six of OSU’s 20 shots coming on frame.

That was part of the Sooner strategy, to react and close out defensively.

“What I’m really pleased with is we had a game plan going in and the players stuck to it,” first-year OU coach Matt Potter said. “And it came off.

Devonshire recorded her first shutout of the season and her 15th since joining the program. She was at her best snaring crosses and shutting down opportunities before they became too dangerous. She was fortunate, too.

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