It took less than two decades after the program's inception for
the Oklahoma State Cowgirl Soccer team to win five Big 12
Conference Championships, make six NCAA appearances, host an
NCAA Tournament, and establish itself as one of the nation's
top college soccer programs with an Elite Eight run in 2010.
It's already good to be a Cowgirl, but it's only going to
get better for a program riding a surge of momentum.
|Elite Eight: Cowgirls
0, Duke 2
Oklahoma State's record-setting season came to an end in the
Elite Eight Friday night as the No. 6 Cowgirls dropped a 2-0 contest
to No. 7 Notre Dame in front of a record crowd at the Cowgirl Soccer
Oklahoma State, a No. 3 national seed, ended its season
with a 20-4-2 mark, while No. 4 national seed Notre Dame (19-2-2)
got a pair of second-half goals from Elizabeth Tucker to propel the
Fighting Irish into the NCAA Women's College Cup for the 12th time
in school history.
"The better team won tonight," said OSU head
Colin Carmichael. "Notre Dame is a great team with great
individual players, very well coached. You could tell they've been
there, done that. They walked on the field with a lot of confidence
in themselves and maybe we were a little bit timid early.
kids came back in the second half and did a better job, fought very,
very hard as we did all year. We just weren't able to break down a
really good team."
A crowd of 2,660 fans saw OSU lose for the
first time in 13 games on its home field this season. The overflow
crowd passed the 2003 Bedlam crowd of 2,307 as the largest in
"It's amazing the support we've gotten at these
games," OSU junior defender
Melinda Mercado said. "Usually we get a pretty good fan base,
but just the support that Stillwater has given us these last few
games has really made a difference."
It wouldn't be enough on
Friday, however, as OSU's bid for its first-ever trip to the Women's
College Cup came up just short.
Notre Dame controlled the
offensive attack in the opening half, outshooting the Cowgirls by a
10-1 margin. But a pair of saves by OSU goalie AD Franch kept the
Irish off the scoreboard before intermission.
"I was happy with
the way we defended Notre Dame," Carmichael said. "In the first
half, they had quite a lot of the ball without really having too
many chances at goal. My regret at halftime was I felt we didn't
cause them enough trouble from an attacking standpoint. In the
second half, we did a little better. We created some chances. But we
knew it was going to be very difficult. Their front three is as good
as anybody in the country, and we knew it was going to be hard to
The Irish came out strong again in the second half,
getting a pair of close-range headers in the 48th minute that the
OSU defense was able to stop.
After a slow first half, OSU got a
solid scoring opportunity in the 51st minute, but a shot by
Krista Lopez was blocked by a Notre Dame defender.
finally broke the scoreless tie in the 63rd minute. Lauran Fowlkes
sent a cross from the near side into the box where Tucker was there
to send it to the back of the net to give UND a 1-0 advantage.
OSU's offense would create several scoring opportunities down the
stretch, one of the best of which came in the 73rd minute on a shot
Katie Richardson that was blocked by a UND defender.
the Cowgirls could not find the back of the net, and Tucker put the
game away on a goal with just 20 seconds remaining in the match.
"For us to win tonight, we would have had to have a special
performance," Carmichael said. "I thought we played well, but
probably just not quite well enough to cause them enough problems."
Cowgirl Soccer Tradition
2010 Elite Eight
|The largest crowd in the history of the
Cowgirl Soccer Complex watched Oklahoma State take on Notre
Dame in the Elite Eight. Official attendance was 2,660, but
even more fans crowded outside the stadium's fences to watch
"We told our seniors they've raised the bar
once again. That's three Big 12 championships in a row, an
Elite Eight appearance. We want to do it again. It was a fun
ride, and I know these guys are anxious to do it again next
year. We'll learn from this. Certainly Notre Dame is the
type of program we aspire to become. Every year they seem to
be competing for a final four berth, and that's what we'd
like to do. We'll learn from this game, and next year these
guys will be itching to get back at it."
-Head Coach Colin Carmichael
Sweet 16: Duke 0, Cowgirls 2
State's record-setting season continued Friday night as the No. 6
Cowgirls advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Women's Soccer
Championship with a 2-0 win over Duke in front of 1,943 fans at the
Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
Making its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance, the Cowgirls were in
control throughout as they improved to 20-3-2 on the season and
advanced to next week's NCAA quarterfinals, where they'll face the
North Carolina-Notre Dame winner. Those two teams square off
Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Megan Marchesano and
Krista Lopez each recorded goals against the Blue Devils
(11-8-4), while AD Franch notched her ninth shutout of the season as
OSU extended its unbeaten streak to seven and improved to 12-0-0 on
its home field this season.
"It's a season of firsts for us," said OSU head coach
Colin Carmichael. "Being in the Sweet 16 was great, but we
didn't want to be finished yet. Duke is a nationally known program
that has been in the Sweet 16 three of the last four years, and if
you go back further in their history, they're one of the elite
programs in the country. For us to beat them is a great achievement
for our team and our program."
OSU had several scoring chances early as
Kyndall Treadwell hit the crossbar with a shot just over five
minutes in, and Lopez fired one that sailed just over the bar in the
In the 37th minute, the Cowgirls would convert one of those chances
when Marchesano collected a pass from Lopez, took a couple of
touches and blasted a shot from 15-yards out to the upper post that
Duke goalie Tara Campbell had no chance of saving.
"Krista played me a perfect ball right where I needed it, and I saw
which way (the goalie) was going so I just knocked it the other
way," Marchesano said.
With the goal, OSU snapped a four-match streak of falling behind by
a 1-0 margin.
"We talked about that; we certainly didn't want to go behind against
such a good team because we knew that would make things a lot more
difficult," Carmichael said. "The emphasis was to really focus in
the first half and not go behind."
OSU would double its lead in the 62nd minute when Lopez took a
perfect cross from
Kristen Kelley and delivered her 15th goal of the season. That
total is tied for the second highest in a single season in school
history and is just one shy of
Yolanda Odenyo's record of 16 in 2008.
With a comfortable 2-0 lead, it was Franch and the OSU defense
withstanding a furious Duke attack down the stretch.
Franch made just two saves on the night but was highly disruptive to
the Blue Devils' attack as she recorded her 20th career shutout,
just one shy of OSU's all-time record.
|Megan Marchesano scored from 15 yards out
to give the Cowgirls a 1-0 lead over Duke. OSU never looked
back, and went on to shut out the Blue Devils 2-0 en route
to their first Elite Eight appearance.
"Being in the Sweet 16 was great, but we
didn't want to be finished yet. Duke is a nationally known
program that has been in the Sweet 16 three of the last four
years, and if you go back further in their history, they're
one of the elite programs in the country. For us to beat
them is a great achievement for our team and our program."
-Head Coach Colin Carmichael
Second Round: Oregon State 1, Cowgirls 2
won in come-from-behind fashion once again Sunday as the No. 6
Cowgirls earned their first-ever berth in the NCAA Women's Soccer
Championship Sweet 16 with a 2-1 win over Oregon State in front of
over 1,400 fans at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
With the win, the
Cowgirls improved to 19-3-2 on the season and set a school record
for single-season wins. Oklahoma State also snapped a four-year
streak of having its season end in the second round of the NCAA
With the win,
Oklahoma State, a No. 3 national seed, advances to the round of 16
and will host Duke in Stillwater Friday at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils
won a penalty kick shootout over No. 2 national seed Florida on
"It means so much for this program," OSU head coach
Colin Carmichael said of advancing to the Sweet 16. "We've been
so close in the past. We've kind of complained about not being at
home and losing so many close games on the road. You can see how
hard it was for (Oregon State) to hold the lead. We were just so
thankful we got to play in front of our fans. I truly believe that
did make a little bit of difference. It maybe gives you that little
10 percent extra that you need. Hopefully, we'll carry that to next
"We're excited to be in the Sweet 16. It's a program first, and 19
wins is the most in school history. These kids deserve all the
credit. They're never down-and-out. You can never count them out,
even when they go behind. It's a real pleasure to work with them
needed a pair of second-half goals to get a victory Sunday.
(16-4-1) netted a goal with just five seconds remaining in the
opening half when Chelsea Buckland blasted a shot from 30-yards out
with her left foot that sailed passed a leaping AD Franch and into
the far upper post.
"That's how we
planned it (laughter)," said Carmichael, whose squad has faced
one-goal deficits in each of its last four matches. "We talked about
starting the game well, and in fairness, I thought we did start
very, very well. We just switched up for a split second just before
the half. If they hadn't gotten that goal right before the end of
the half, I'd have been very pleased with the first-half
trailed for the first 28 minutes of the final half, but with 73:19
remaining, the Cowgirls would finally get the equalizer.
Sarah Brown made a deep throw in from the far sideline that
Katie Richardson headed to her right, where the ball found
Elizabeth DeLozier. And DeLozier delivered from seven-yards out,
booting the ball past Oregon State goalie Colleen Boyd for her
second goal of the season.
"I give all the
Sarah Brown," DeLozier said. "She made an amazing throw, and I
just got on the end of it and got us a goal. It was a team effort
would record the game winner in the 82nd minute. After
Krista Lopez drilled a shot that Boyd saved but was unable to
Carson Michalowski was there for the putback to put Oklahoma
State on top, 2-1.
victory was not secured until Franch made a pair of diving saves in
the last 3:02, saving a shot by Courtney Wetzel and a header by
Buckhead with just six seconds remaining to seal the win and set off
a Cowgirl celebration.
"Our team motto
this year has been `Passion'," Michalowski said. "We just have to
work for each other. When we go down like that, we talk to each
other. We try not to get frustrated. You just go out there and give
it your all because it could be your last game and you don't want it
to be. So you just have to throw your heart into it."
|Carson Michalowski scored off a rebound
in the 82nd minute to complete the Cowgirls'
come-from-behind victory over Oregon State to reach the
"Our team motto this year has been passion.
We just have to work for each other. When we go down like
that, we talk to each other. We try not to get frustrated.
You just go out there and give it your all because it could
be your last game and you don't want it to be so you just
have to throw your heart into it."
First Round: Michigan 1, Cowgirls 2
State used a pair of second-half goals to remain perfect on its home
field this season as the No. 6 Cowgirls opened the 2010 NCAA Women's
Soccer Championship with a 2-1 win over Michigan Friday night at the
Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
With the win, OSU advances to the second round of the NCAA
Tournament for the fifth-straight year. The Cowgirls, who are a No.
3 national seed in the tourney, improved to 18-3-2 on the season,
tying a school record for single-season wins, and also upped their
record to 10-0-0 on their home field in 2010.
The win also sets up an all OSU second-round match as the Cowgirls
will take on Oregon State Sunday at 1 p.m. looking to earn their
first-ever Sweet 16 berth. The Beavers knocked off Memphis by a 5-0
count in Friday's other first-round game in Stillwater.
"It was a very scrappy game from both teams, a lot of effort," said
OSU head coach
Colin Carmichael. "Credit to Michigan, they did a great job,
especially in the first half, of trying to take away our strengths
and playing to their strengths. Thankfully, in the second half we
were able to play with a little more energy and put them under a
little more pressure, and I think that was the key to being able to
get the two goals in the second half.
"(The Cowgirls) been under the gun a little bit for quite a few
games now, and they always seem to find a way to pull it out. That's
certainly a testament to the character of the team."
Michigan (10-5-4) took the first lead in the match in the 23rd
minute. On an OSU attempt to clear the ball, the Wolverines' Tori
McCombs blocked the kick of the defender and the ball rolled past
goalie AD Franch to the far post to give UM a 1-0 advantage.
OSU managed just three shots in the opening half, and the Wolverines
took the 1-0 lead into intermission.
But within a span of 69 seconds in the final half, the Cowgirls
would go on top for good.
Just over eight minutes after halftime, the Cowgirls were awarded a
free kick after a foul just outside the 18-yard box. And the home
team took advantage, as
Taylor Mathews sent a high cross into the box that
Melinda Mercado headed past UM goalie Haley Kopmeyer for her
first goal of the season.
"I practice headers everyday, and they keep telling me I'm due one,"
said Mercado, the 2010 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the
Year. "Credit to Taylor (Mathews), that was an amazing ball. If I
didn't finish that, I would've hurt myself."
With the goal, Mercado became the 11th different Cowgirl to find the
back of the net this season and the 16th different player to record
Up next, it would be time for heroics from another All-Big 12 First
Team performer. This time it was
Krista Lopez, who took a cross from
Katie Richardson and, after two UM defenders collided, found
herself with an open-net opportunity. And the junior converted,
notching her 14th goal of the season, the third-highest total in
school history, to put the Cowgirls on top for good at the 54:53
The Wolverines would manage just two shots in the final half as OSU
advanced for another shot at the Sweet 16.
"We started out really slow and didn't come out with the enthusiasm
that we wanted to, and that's a credit to Michigan because they
fought really hard," Mercado said. "But in the second half we came
out and did a great job of picking up the intensity and were able to
come out with the win."
|The Cowgirls fought back from a 1-0
deficit to defeat Michigan 2-1 after Krista Lopez's
game-winner in the 55th minute.
"We started out really slow and didn't come
out with the enthusiasm that we wanted to, and that's a
credit to Michigan because they fought really hard. But in
the second half we came out and did a great job of picking
up the intensity and were able to come out with the win."