STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State recorded the 200th win in program history Friday night as the fifth-ranked Cowgirls opened the 2012 season with a 1-0 victory over UMKC in front of 1,524 fans as the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
The lone score in the match was the result of an own goal as a UMKC player deflected a free kick from OSU’s Kelsey Bass into the back of the net in the 75th minute.
OSU dominated the offensive attack, outshooting the Kangaroos by a 30-3 margin. But UMKC goalie Jami Finnell recorded 16 saves, the most ever by a Cowgirl opponent.
“In the game of soccer you can dominate the 90 minutes and create a lot of chances and not score, that’s just the nature of the beast,” said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. “Early in the season, those are the types of things that can happen because you’re not quite as sharp in front of goal and your movements aren’t quite as crisp… I was pleased with a lot of the build-up play, we just have to get better in the final third.”
“You also have to give their goalkeeper a ton of credit. She made four or five phenomenal saves, and she was easily the MVP.”
In the opening half, the Cowgirls outshot UMKC, 18-2, with Finnell recording nine saves. In the game’s first 13 minutes, she notched diving saves on shots by Madison Mercado and Megan Marchesano to keep the home team off the scoreboard.
In the 33rd minute, the Cowgirls created another prime opportunity, as Taylor Mathews sent a pass to Allie Stephenson, who connected with Marchesano in front of the goal. But once again, Finnell came up with a big save.
The second half would be more of the same, with Finnell recording eight more saves and OSU narrowly misfiring several times, including a 25-yard blast from Mercado that caromed off the crossbar.
Finally, at the 74:35 mark, the Cowgirls caught a break. Bass lofted a cross towards the box from the near side and in the scramble for possession, the ball was delivered into the goal by a UMKC defender.
“It was a great service, and we had enough pressure on it that their kid was facing their goal and didn’t really have a chance,” Carmichael said.
With the shutout, Cowgirl senior All-American goalie AD Franch moved her OSU career record total to 33.
OSU returns to action Sunday when the Cowgirls host Weber State at noon.