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Friday College Soccer Roundup

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Keller, Giles lead ORU to victory over Nicholls, 3-1

TULSA, Okla. – Kayla Keller netted a pair of goals and Megan Giles added a goal and an assist as the Oral Roberts University women's soccer team rolled past Nicholls State on Friday at home, 3-1.

ORU improved its record to 10-3 overall and 5-1 in Southland Conference play, while the Colonels dropped their third straight match and they fell to 9-3-1 and 3-3-0 in league action. The Golden Eagle victory kept them in pace with Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin in a three-way tie for first.

Giles put the Golden Eagles on the board early in the match as she converted a goal in front of the net. Mary-Kate Halsmer earned the assist as she dribbled down near the endline on the left side and crossed the ball into the box for Giles. It was Giles' fifth goal of the season.

In the 30th minute, Giles recorded her fifth assist of the season as she found Keller in the middle of the field. Keller made a move on a Nicholls defender, blasting a shot from about 30 yards out to give ORU a 2-0 lead.

Great defensive play by the ORU backline allowed just three shots by the Colonels in the first 45 minutes, each coming off the foot of Spencer Valdespino.

Keller added the insurance goal in the 55th minute as Halsmer sent the ball through a couple of defenders, hitting Keller in stride in the box for the goal. Keller has eight goals this season, the most by a Golden Eagle since Maria Grados scored nine in 2009.

In the 58th minute, the Colonels broke the shutout as Misty Tatom scored on a header in front of the net off a free kick from near midfield by Renee Bruns.

Maddie Rhodes (6-2) earned her sixth victory of the season as she earned six saves in the match. Amanda Boylson (6-2-1) was credited with the loss for Nicholls, marking four saves. Taylor Mosley replaced Boylson to start the second half and picked up three saves.

Both squads took 17 total shots in the match, with the Golden Eagles holding an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal. Keller led the Golden Eagles with four on target, while Jennifer Abernathy had two good looks as well.

ORU will have an opportunity to get the upper hand in the Southland on Sunday afternoon as they battle fellow conference leader Southeastern Louisiana. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Case Soccer Complex.


Texas Tech Slips Past OU

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma soccer team saw another hard-fought match slip through their fingers in tough 2-1 decision against No. 15 Texas Tech on Friday night. The Sooners (3-9-1, 0-3-0 Big 12) used a fiery second half of play to challenge the Red Raiders (13-1-1, 3-0-1 Big 12) in the goal, finishing with an overall shot advantage of 14-10.

The first half of play was a defensive gridlock with both teams heading to the locker room at a 0-0 tie. The Red Raiders outshot the Sooners by a margin of 5-1, but OU goalkeeper Kassadie Stade made three big saves in the goal to keep TTU off the board. OU took their lone shot of the half in the eighth minute on a rocket from Devin Barrett that was intercepted by Texas Tech goalkeeper Victoria Esson.

The Sooners came out needing to create offensive opportunities in the second half and put TTU on their heels, and OU more than responded. OU outshot the Red Raiders 13-5 in the second half, repeatedly challenging Esson in the goal while limiting Texas Tech's chances on set pieces.

Oklahoma took a 1-0 lead in the match in the 61st minute off a neatly-delivered corner kick from junior Abby Hodgen. Madison Saliba controlled the ball before delivering it to freshman Madison Kinzer, who fired in her first goal of the season to put OU on the board.

Texas Tech responded just seconds later in the 62nd minute when Alli Murphy sent in a cross from the right side that evaded Stade's reach and knotted up the game at 1-1. Both teams continued to battle for an advantage as the game wore on, but it was Tech who would finally get the lead on a goal from Jessica Fuston in the 80th minute of play.

The Sooners had a chance for an equalizer just moments later on a powerful kick from senior captain Zoe Dickson, but Esson made what the referees ruled to be a tough save to maintain the Red Raider lead. The 2-1 score would go final under 10 minutes later, handing OU its third loss this season on a goal in the last 12 or less minutes of play.

Oklahoma will go back in action to keep its Big 12 tournament hopes alive on Sunday afternoon at the OU Soccer Complex. The Sooners will face Iowa State at 1 p.m. CT, with a live broadcast provided by Sooner Sports TV on FS Oklahoma and FOX Sports College Central.

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