#2-seed Oklahoma State (22-1-2) at #1-seed Stanford (22-0-1) at the NCAA Soccer Championship Friday, Nov. 25 9 p.m. (CST) Stanford, Calif. Laird Q. Cagan Stadium (1,900)
Oklahoma State OSU has advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Soccer Championship for the second-straight year, opening tourney play with a 9-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff before knocking off Illinois and then Maryland by 1-0 scores. The Cowgirls will next face No. 1 overall national seed and unbeaten Stanford, who is 22-0-1 on the year, Friday at 9 p.m. (CST) in Stanford, Calif. OSU is a No. 2 national seed, its highest ever, and owns a 22-1-2 record, with the 22 wins marking a school record. The Cowgirls also claimed their second Big 12 Conference regular season championship and fourth-straight league title in 2011, and coach Colin Carmichael's squad has been dominant along the way, outscoring its opponents by a 55-7 margin and recording an NCAA-best 18 shutouts. In 2011, OSU returns 10 of its 11 starters from last season, and six All-Big 12 performers are back on the pitch. All-Americans Melinda Mercado and AD Franch anchor one of the nation's top defenses, while the Cowgirls also return five of their top six goal scorers from a year ago, led by seniors Krista Lopez and Kyndall Treadwell. The 2011 Cowgirls are a strong nucleus of proven veterans. OSU has won four-straight Big 12 titles, and every returning player on the roster has been a part of an NCAA Women's Soccer Championship team as head coach Colin Carmichael's squad has made five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The senior class is eight players strong, and that group has combined for 75 victories and won more than 80 percent of its matches.
Cowgirls & The NCAA Soccer Championship OSU is making its sixth-straight NCAA Soccer Championship appearance and seventh overall (in 16 seasons), and the Cowgirls are 9-3-4 all time in NCAA tourney play. OSU has advanced to at least the second round in each of the last six years and with back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2011 is just the second Big 12 Conference team to achieve that feat (along with Texas A&M in 2001 and 2002). The Cowgirls have never faced Stanford on the pitch. The Cardinal will be looking for their fourth-straight College Cup appearance. They have lost in the NCAA title game each of the last two years. If the Cowgirls defeat Stanford in Friday's match, they would advance to the NCAA Women's College Cup for the first time in program history. The 2011 College Cup will be held Dec. 2-4 in Kennesaw, Ga.
On The Web Fans wishing to follow this Friday's match can do so via live stats, available at www.ncaa.com.
Big 12's Best OSU finished the regular season 17-0-2, joining the 2006 Nebraska team as the only Big 12 Conference teams in history to go unbeaten during the regular season. The Cowgirls finished 6-0-2 in conference play to claim their second regular-season Big 12 title, and in doing so they became the first Big 12 team since Texas A&M in 2002 to complete the league schedule without a loss.
Four Play OSU has won four consecutive Big 12 Conference championships and has captured five conference titles in the last nine seasons -- three tournament (2003, '09, '10) and two regular season (2008, '11).
Moving On Up Earlier this season, OSU was ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll for eight consecutive weeks, marking the Cowgirls' highest-ever national ranking. The Cowgirls' previous high ranking was No. 4, which they reached on Sept. 6. They have been ranked in the top five for 11-straight weeks. OSU is currently ranked 2nd by TopDrawerSoccer.com, 4th by the NSCAA and Soccer America and 5th by SoccerTimes.com.
Home Sweet Home OSU was 13-0-1 at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex in 2011. The Cowgirls sport a 43-3-1 record on their home field since 2008.
Seniors Rule OSU's 2011 senior class (Brown, DeLozier, Dougherty, Garrett, Lopez, Mercado, Niemeier and Treadwell) is the fourth-winningest senior class in the nation. Over the last three-plus years, the Cowgirls own a 75-13-10 (.816) record. The 75 wins are the most among Big 12 schools during that span.
Second To One With its 42-5-4 record, OSU owns the second-most wins in the nation over the last two seasons. The Cowgirls' win total trails only Stanford, which is 45-1-3 over the span.
Century Mark With the win over Creighton on Sept. 2, OSU head coach Colin Carmichael notched his 100th career victory. In his seventh season at the helm, Carmichael sports a career mark of 116-28-19 (.770). Karen Hancock, now a Cowgirl assistant, served as OSU's first-ever head coach and was 110-89-19 in 11 seasons.
Hermann Watch For the fifth-straight year, OSU placed a player on the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List as senior defender Melinda Mercado and junior goalie AD Franch both made the 42-player list. The Hermann Trophy is considered the highest individual honor in collegiate soccer. Franch was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2010 Hermann Trophy. Yolanda Odenyo (2008) is the only other Cowgirl semifinalist.
Shutouts and Scores OSU has established itself as one of the top defensive programs in the country. The Cowgirls have led the Big 12 in shutouts in five of the last six seasons (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), and they have recorded 74 shutouts in 144 games during that span. The Cowgirls don't just thrive on defense. They've also led the Big 12 in goals scored in two of the last four seasons (74 in '08 and 52 in '10) and are currently second in the league with 55 goals this season.
Making History OSU is coming off a 2010 season that saw it embark on a magical postseason run as the Cowgirls captured their second-straight Big 12 Soccer Championship title before their deepest-ever NCAA tourney run, during which they advanced to the Elite Eight. OSU finished the season with a 20-4-2 record, which included an 8-2-0 mark and second-place finish in the always tough Big 12 Conference.
1,359 Minutes & 13 Seconds That's how long OSU went this season before trailing in a match. The Cowgirls never trailed in their first 15 games before Texas took a 1-0 lead 3:49 into their match on Oct. 24. The Cowgirls tied UT at the 56:35 mark of that game and then did not trail in a match again until the final nine seconds of the Big 12 Championship title game vs. Texas A&M.
Broken Record Junior goalie AD Franch set OSU's career shutouts record against Oklahoma on Aug. 26 by notching her 22nd shutout in just her 51st career game. Erin Stigler, whose record Franch broke, had 21 shutouts in 64 games from 2005-08. Franch has led the Big 12 in shutouts in each of her first three collegiate seasons, setting a then-OSU record with 11 as a freshman and then recording nine a year ago. She has 12 in 18 games this season.
Broken Record, Pt. II Krista Lopez set a pair of OSU records in the win over UALR. She recorded four goals against the Trojans to become the first Cowgirl in history to score four goals in a single game. Lopez broke the previous mark of three, which she held with nine other players. Lopez, who was the first Big 12 player to record four goals in a match since 2009, also set OSU's single-game record by collecting eight points. Lopez notched the hat trick with three goals in the opening half against the Trojans, then added her record-setting fourth just over five minutes into the second half. With eight goals this season, Lopez has moved into fifth place all time at OSU with 27 career goals, and she ranks seventh on the Cowgirls' career points list with 71.
Statistically Speaking OSU leads the NCAA in shutouts (18), fewest goals allowed (7), goals-against average (0.27) and save percentage (.936); they rank second in shutout percentage (.072) and third in winning percentage (.920). Goalie AD Franch leads the nation in save percentage (.938) and is second in goals-against average (0.26). The Cowgirls top the Big 12 in corner kicks (173) and rank second in goals (55), shots (467), assists (49) and points (159). Krista Lopez is tied for the league lead with four game-winning goals and is in the top 10 in goals (8) and points (23), and Franch's 12 shutouts are a league high.
Balanced Attack The Cowgirls have recorded 55 goals by 13 different players in 2011, and 12 different players have notched assists.
11, 14 & 21 OSU set a school record for consecutive wins when it earned its 11th-straight victory vs. Utah State on Sept. 18. The previous record was 10, which the Cowgirls achieved in 2003. With its win over Oklahoma on Sept. 30, OSU set the mark for the longest unbeaten streak in school history at 14. The Cowgirls had two previous 13-match unbeaten streaks -- in a 2010 stretch when they went 12-0-1 and the 13-game span to open the 2003 season (11-0-2). OSU's record unbeaten streak was snapped at 21 with a loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship final.
It's Academic OSU's success on the pitch has carried over to the classroom. OSU had 13 players named to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 First Team, with 12 of those earning first-team honors. Krista Lopez, a 2010 Academic All-American, and Sarah Brown were named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District 7 First Team, and Lopez is one of 10 finalists for the prestigious 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Records Watch OSU's 22 wins is a school record, besting last year's mark of 20. OSU's 18 shutouts is the most in school history, besting the previous mark of 14 set in 2009. The Cowgirls also currently sport a 0.27 goals against average, which far bests the record 0.65 GAA of the 2009 squad. AD Franch has 12 shutouts, the most in a single season in OSU history. Franch previously owned the top spot with 11 shutouts in 2009. Franch is set to shatter her single-season record for goals-against average of 0.61 set in 2009. She is currently at 0.26. OSU's 173 corner kicks is the second most in a single-season in program history. The record is 186 by the 2003 squad.