Senior forward Bri Amos graced the pitch at John Crain Field for the last time on Thursday night. At halftime, she paced out to midfield with her sisters in crimson and stood in a line while the PA announcer rattled off nine seniors’ names. In front of her, painted on the ground, was a giant version of her white No. 13.
This was it. Better go out in style.
Amos has been a leader vocally and by example for the Sooners this season, helping lead the team to the No. 7 spot in the Big 12 Championship tournament. In that span, Amos has tallied four assists and has found the back of the net six times on an aggressive 44 shots.
“I’m forever grateful for my time at OU,” Amos said. “I transferred here last year and got a fresh start in college. All props to my senior class that I’m with because they’ve taken me in and made me a part of the family. It's just been so surreal for all of us to embrace it tonight.”
Amos scored goal No. 6 in Thursday’s 2-0 senior night upset of Baylor (8-4-6, 4-2-3 Big 12), putting the Sooners (8-10-1, 4-5-0) up 1-0 in minute 11 of play. That score didn’t stand alone long, however, as fellow senior forward and OU’s leading scorer Jazzy Richards tallied her seventh goal of the season on only her 14th shot four minutes later.
“You gotta love your chances,” Amos said. “A free shot eight yards in? People are flying around. It pinballs. That’s a great chance to me. You gotta take it.”
OU also had the assistance of its starting goalkeeper Nikki Panas, a redshirt senior, who added to her staggering 61 saves this season with her final five at John Crain Field. Additionally, senior defender Cameron Tharp contributed an assist on Amos’ goal.
With Thursday night’s victory, Oklahoma has won four of its last five games to finish the regular season. The Sooners are 4-5-0 in conference play on the year, but their hot streak combined with Thursday’s upset of the Bears, the third-ranked team in the conference, makes anything possible as they approach the Big 12 Championship.
Keeping a mindset he has emphasized after similar victories this season, head coach Mark Carr isn’t worried about the Big 12 Championship quite yet, though.
“It’s about savoring the moment right now,” Carr said. “It’s senior night and the kids that started the game tonight were the seniors, and some of those kids have been here for four years. They’ve had a couple of coaching changes and two years ago I walked in here and they had a decision to make.”
That decision was to put their faith in Carr, and the elders on the squad have done just that. After a rocky first year in the Carr era at OU in which the team ended the season with a 1-12-2 record, year two has yielded inarguable results.
A team that did not have a postseason a year ago now has a chance to prove itself in the conference tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. The Sooners will have a shot at revenge against Red River rival Texas (10-3-5, 3-0-2), which narrowly bested OU 4-3 earlier this season.
While the Big 12 Championship is mere days away, Carr and his squad realize the importance of the moment, and the appreciation the program has for its seniors.
“Tonight it was about them and how they performed, and all the work they put into the program,” Carr said. “To get a result against a really good Baylor team like that is just exciting for them and I’m just proud of the seniors and proud of our team.”