Soccer loses to nationally ranked Oklahoma in double overtime

Soccer loses to nationally ranked Oklahoma in double overtime

September 13
12:56 2014

Scott Sidway/Staff Writer

The Mean Green soccer team fell to the No. 15 University of Oklahoma Sooners 2-1 in a double overtime thriller on Friday at home for their first loss of the season. The Mean Green (5-1) were poised to continue their unbeaten streak to start the season, but Oklahoma (5-1-1) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the final seconds.

After a defensive first half, UNT scored the first goal of the match in the 81st minute, capitalizing on a corner kick from junior forward Karla Pineda. The goal slipped through a handful of Mean Green and Sooner legs and reached the back of the net when freshman Oklahoma goalkeeper Kaitlyn Fahrner lost the ball in the scrum.

UNT looked poised to close the deal, but the Sooners showed their own poise by scoring 38 seconds before the end of regulation. Freshmen OU midfielder Rasha Roberts scored on a header after a well-delivered corner kick by Sooner junior defender Laura Rayfield. Head coach John Hedlund said he wasn’t pleased with his team’s defense in the final seconds.

“I’m not quite sure why we didn’t defend that corner kick,” Hedlund said.  “It looked like we had a man or two out of place.”

Both teams were aggressive in the second half defensively, and the chippy play carried over into the first overtime session. Sophomore forward Rachel Holden was given a yellow card after an Oklahoma foul. Holden’s foot came into the air on the foul and caught the Oklahoma defender in the face.

The winning goal for the Sooners came in the 102nd minute off the leg of freshmen defender Madeline Brem after a free kick granted after a UNT penalty.

“We shouldn’t have [lost],”Hedlund said. “We should have won this game.”

Junior defender Tess Graham, who also received a yellow card in the game, said that while play was aggressive on both ends, the refs did not do the Mean Green any justice.

“I think the refs were really one-sided, which kind of sucks because it is our home field,” Graham said.

The weather at kickoff led to unfavorable field conditions, as both teams dealt with a steady drizzle and consistently changing winds. The conditions affected the play on the field, as the ball was sliding off the feet of players and taking unconventional turns. The weather calmed down for the second half, but the aggressive play from both teams did not.

Despite dropping a game against a ranked opponent in the final seconds, junior goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine thinks that there are plenty of positives to take out of the game.

“At least it was to the number 15 team in the nation,” Kerestine said. “I think we proved to the whole country that we can play with these guys. It might not have been the result we wanted, but we’re dang close.”

The Mean Green will try to rebound on the road on Sunday afternoon against Houston Baptist University. The game will begin at 1:00 p.m.

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