Jayhawks Upset No. 7 Oklahoma State in Thriller, 2-1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Whitney Berry’s penalty kick in the 70th minute propelled the Kansas Jayhawks to a 2-1 win over the seventh-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls Friday evening at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex.

The win, which moved the Jayhawks to 7-2-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play, was the first over a top-10 team since defeating then-No. 6 Texas A&M in 2008. Oklahoma State was handed its second loss of the year, dropping to 9-2-0 and 0-1 in the Big 12.

Berry and freshman Courtney Dickerson each collected goals on the evening, while sophomore goalkeeper Caitlyn Stroud picked up her second win in goal for the Jayhawks this season.

Just moments after OSU’s Megan Marchesano knotted up the score at one in the 69th minute, Kansas senior midfielder Sarah Robbins slashed through the Cowgirl defense before being tackled to the ground in the visitor’s penalty box. The play drew a whistle from the referee, resulting in a Kansas penalty kick with just 20 minutes to play in regulation.

Berry took advantage of the penalty kick, knocking a shot by OSU’s All-American goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, to put the Jayhawks back on top 2-1. The goal was the fourth of the season for the Wichita, Kan., native and the 21st of her collegiate career.

The Jayhawks were forced to withstand several late Cowgirl attacks, including an OSU corner kick with just nine second remaining in the match. After OSU defender Kelsey played the ball into the KU box, the Jayhawk defense came up big, blocking several frantic, last-second Cowgirl attempts to find the equalizer.

Oklahoma State was unable to find the back of the KU net, however, and the Jayhawks were able to clear the ball clear of their goal as time expired, giving KU its first victory over Cowgirls since 2005.

For the fourth time in the last six matches, KU was able to open up the scoring within the first 10 minutes of play. Midfielder Hayley Yearout found space in the fourth minute as she crossed into OSU territory. The sophomore out of Overland Park, Kan., passed to a streaking Courtney Dickerson, who beat her defender as she ran into the OSU box. Dickerson struck a left-footed shot over the head of Franch to give Kansas the early 1-0 advantage.

The goal was the freshman Dickerson’s second of the 2012 campaign and gave Yearout her second assist of the season.

Kansas’ defense held strong over the next 65 minutes of play as KU’s goalkeeper Stroud kept the Cowgirls at bay, collecting five saves in the match and punching several more away to thwart the OSU attacks.

In the 69th minute however OSU’s Allie Stephenson found an open Marchesano on the end of a through ball, which the senior forward took advantage of, tying the match at one with a strike that ended up in the back of the KU net.

The Jayhawks didn’t waiver though, forcing the eventual go-ahead Berry penalty shot less than 30 seconds later. The penalty score was the Jayhawks second of the season, with freshman Ashley Williams putting home a PK in the Jayhawks’ 4-1 win over Missouri State on Sept. 7.

Kansas outshot the seventh-ranked Cowgirls, recording 18 to OSU’s 14 on the evening. The Jayhawks put five on frame, compared to six for Oklahoma State.

Berry led the KU offensive attack with four shots and two on goal while five other Jayhawks were able to strike two shots or more on the evening.

The win was KU’s first over the visitors from Stillwater since defeating OSU 4-1 in 2005. KU’s victory also marks the second over a top-25 ranked team this season, also notching a win over then-No. 24 Georgia 1-0 on August 24.

The Jayhawks hit the road for the first time in 2012 when they travel to Waco, Texas for a Friday, Sept. 28 matchup with the Baylor Bears. Kickoff from the Betty Lou Mays Soccer Complex is slated for 7 p.m. (CT). Two days later, KU will head north to play conference newcomer TCU on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas.

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