Oklahoma to take on BYU, Utah
Jacqueline Eby, The Oklahoma Daily
Oklahoma soccer has one final roadblock before entering conference play.
The Sooners head to Utah for the two final non-conference games of the regular season against BYU and Utah.
OU is 3-5 entering the last weekend before the Big 12 schedule starts. Last weekend, OU split two home games, beating Oral Roberts 1-0 but falling to North Texas 5-0.
OU head coach Matt Potter was upset with the result Sunday, but he said he knows his team can do better.
“Obviously, we’ve still got work to do,” Potter said. “It’s all about executing our game plan.”
Freshman forward Caren Nelson said the team will use the experience against North Texas to their advantage.
“We just learn what we did wrong and what we can do better,” Nelson said. “We’ll look at film and do it all over again."
The Sooners will need to stay extremely focused against BYU to stay sharp and keep to the script.
The No. 11 Cougars are 4-1-1 this season with all their wins coming at home. Home-field advantage is key to BYU’s game with an average of over 5,000 fans at their last three home games.
BYU will be the third-ranked opponent of the season for OU. The Sooners lost to No. 10 Florida and No. 2 Florida State on a road trip earlier this season.
For OU to win against top competition like BYU, Potter said the players must execute on chances.
“We’re creating the chances and getting into position to execute them, but for some reason it’s not working out,” Potter said.
After the test against the Cougars today, Oklahoma will face the Utah Utes on Sunday in Salt Lake City.
Utah is 3-1-3 this season and has yet to lose at home in 2013. The Utes provided BYU’s only loss in a 1-0 upset in Provo earlier this season.
The Utes’ defense will be a huge test for OU heading before Big 12 play. Utah has only allowed five goals all season. They have a 0.71 goals against average and their goalkeepers have combined for 38 saves with four shutouts.
While Utah may be stingy in the back, the Sooners have played well defensively themselves. Before Sunday’s blowout, OU was averaging less than two goals per game. The teams has been relying on the backline to keep them in close games.
Still, they won’t be able to win without goals. OU has just nine this season and only one in their last four games.
If OU wants a conference title, the tides need to turn before Big 12 play begins.