Oklahoma State forward Haley Woodard had wide open space in front of her.
As the Cowgirls broke open a fast break tied 1-1 early in the second overtime period with Texas on Friday night, Woodard cut up the middle of the pitch and received a through ball as she sprinted into the box.
Woodard powered a shot into the back of the net, giving Oklahoma State a golden goal to down the Longhorns, 2-1. Texas players walked away from a third-straight match asking themselves what had gone wrong.
“When you don’t get the joy and the reward [of a win], that can wear on you,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “But that’s not even an option for us. The option is we continue to grow and do the good things and have an increased hunger in the attacking third.”
It was the same song, yet a different verse for the Longhorns (6–5–1, 0–2–1 Big 12).
A third-straight 1-0 lead that was blown, a third-straight match went into overtime and a third-straight winless result. To further add to Texas’ recent struggles sophomore forward Alexa Adams, the Longhorns’ leading goal-scorer, left the game with an apparent left leg injury in the 53rd minute and did not return.
“It sucks,” sophomore midfielder Kayra Dollas said. “We don’t know what happened with her yet. [We’re] just praying it’s nothing bad.”
After a stalemate in the first half, the Longhorns finally found life in the 62nd minute when freshman defender Emma Jett sent a corner kick into the box.
Dollas leaped from a crowded group of Longhorns and Cowgirls and headed the ball into the back of the net to give Texas a 1-0 lead. The goal marked just the second of Dollas’s career.
“It was a perfect ball,” Dollas said. “One of my best friends just went out, and I wanted to score for her. So I saw the back post, and I just aimed right for it, and it went in.”
But Oklahoma State would respond in a timely fashion.
In the 71st minute, Cowgirls defender Niki McKnight launched a free kick 35 yards out from the right side of the pitch and into the box. But the ball sailed higher and farther than she anticipated, skimming underneath the crossbar and directly downward at the goal line.
The ball deflected off Cowgirls forward Courtney Dike on the way down and barely crossed the goal line to tie the game at 1-1.
The Longhorns outshot Oklahoma State, 18-12, and dominated in corner kicks, 16-2. As for now, the nature of Adams’s injury is unknown and her status is day-to-day. Texas already lost one of its top scorers in redshirt sophomore forward Mikayla Flores to a torn ACL in the season opener.
Texas will get another chance at its first conference win on Sunday at home against Kansas. Kelly said the message to her team will be simple—forget and move on.
“No other option than to get yourself organized and [that] you have the best forgetful memory that’s ever occurred,” Kelly said. “A professional organizes their mind, their emotion and how they are physically. That’s gonna be the message.”