The Oklahoma soccer team fell in a 2-1 decision to the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday afternoon at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. Oklahoma (4-13-1, 1-7-0 Big 12) tied up the match in the 74th minute of play at 1-1, but surrendered a late goal with under three minutes left to play against KU (7-10-2, 2-5-1 Big 12). With the win, Kansas secured the eighth and final spot in the Big 12 Championship field next week, while OU will narrowly miss qualifying for their fourth-straight conference tournament.
After a slow start to the first half, KU took a 1-0 lead over the Sooners in the 28th minute of play. The Jayhawks' Jamie Fletcher controlled a loose ball in the box and in the subsequent confusion, sent it past Stade for her second goal of the season.
Despite both teams battling a strong wind that challenged OU and KU ball handlers, the Sooners managed to get several solid looks at the Jayhawk goal throughout the first half. Perhaps Oklahoma's best scoring opportunity of the half came when Kansas was called for a handball in the box off an OU corner, giving the Sooners a penalty kick. Daisy Cardona took the PK for the Sooners, but the ball sailed wide right of the goal and KU's lead was preserved heading into halftime.
The Sooners got a good look right out of the gates in the second half when Devin Barrett fired in a shot that just nicked off the crossbar to prevent OU from snapping up the equalizer. OU continued their aggressive offensive play, challenging KU goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stroud at every opportunity while maintaining consistent possession.
KU began to respond in the 25th minute as Caroline Kastor and Fletcher ripped off a pair of shots to challenge Oklahoma goalkeeper Kassadie Stade. Stade responded on both counts, making a pair of tough saves to keep the Jayhawks from extending their lead.
After several opportunities, OU picked up the equalizer in the 74th minute on a goal from Cardona. After Nelson collided with Stroud in the box, Cardona controlled the ball and sent it in from five yards out to tie things up at 1-1. The goal gives Cardona a team-best six this season.
As the teams moved under the ten minute mark, the urgency and tempo of the match continued to increase as each team hunted for an advantage. The match took a sharp turn when Stade collided with a KU player outside of the box, sending Stade out of the match with under five minutes to play. True freshman Miranda Larkin took the field as the Sooners went down a player, and the Jayhawks capitalized on the mismatch just minutes later when Fletcher netted her second goal of the afternoon to send KU up 2-1.
KU tried to go up 3-1 moments later, but Larkin made a spectacular fingertip save to keep the Sooners hopes alive with just a minute left on the clock. OU was unable to get a solid look at the goal and time expired, giving Kansas the victory and sending the Jayhawks on to Kansas City.
The Sooners finished the match with a season-high 22 shots overall, including 12 on goal and 10 corner kicks. Stade wrapped up the match with two saves, while Larkin added one save in four minutes of play. Stroud posted 11 saves for Kansas opposite her team's 12 shots.
The loss ends Oklahoma's 2013 campaign at 4-13-1 and 1-7-0 in Big 12 play. OU logged victories over Kennesaw State, Texas State, Oral Roberts and TCU this fall while taking on one of the nation's most challenging slates, including seven top 25 opponents.