It was a classic case of the match was not as close as the actual score.
After controlling nearly 70% possession in the first half, some sloppy defending on a corner allowed the Sooners to pounce on the loose ball at the far post for just the third first-half goal allowed this season by Oklahoma State.
Despite being short-handed due to injuries over the past couple of weeks, the Cowgirls stayed on the front foot but were unable to put anything threatening on goal thanks to OU’s game plan...pack it in to the back line and look for the counter. The normally potent attack that led OSU to seven straight wins coming in to the Big 12 tourney struggled to find space and when opportunity presented itself the passing was not precise enough. The Sooners didn’t manage much on the offensive end, but when their opportunity came in the 41st minute they took full advantage of the Cowgirls’ failure to clear a short corner that bounced across the mouth of the goal, past the goalkeeper, to the waiting foot of Sooner Erika Middleton:
Reilly ➡️ Middleton ➡️ Back of the net pic.twitter.com/qNViK0I0XR— Oklahoma Soccer (@OU_WSoccer) November 3, 2019
The 2nd half proceeded much like the first, as Coach Carmichael’s crew controlled possession easily but couldn’t break through. Finally, in the 57th minute, the precision passing missing up to this point came roaring forth:
Set up by Olyvia Dowell’s great run to the line and diagonal pass high in the box, that chip by Charme Morgan back to Coleman in the box had me:
Play would continue as before as the Cowgirls’ back line and midfield generally kept the Sooners on the back foot. It felt like it would be only a matter of time, and in the 81st minute the Sooners failed to adequately clear an OSU corner. That’s all Big 12 points leader Jaci Jones needed, blasting a volley that OU could only deflect into their own goal:
Sooner FC applied some pressure late but the Cowgirls handled it well to close out the win.
Oklahoma State improved to 15-1-3 with their only loss coming at Texas Tech along with ties in Norman, at home against SMU, and at TCU. They will face #5 seed Kansas who took down #2 seed West Virginia, 2-0. That match will be carried by ESPN+ next Friday, November 8 at 4:30pm CT. The last time OSU played Kansas the Cowgirls won 5-2 in Stillwater. The winner advances to the Big 12 championship on Sunday, November 10 at 12:30 CT on FS1.
Bonus material...if you were watching today you couldn’t help but hear an OU fan who was clearly sitting in proximity to the ESPN+ broadcast crew:
- “LET’S GO RED!”
- “COME ON YELLOW!” (a reference to the ref)
- “FRUSTRATION!” (cuz he clearly didn’t like the officiating)
Be sure to catch CowgirlFC next Friday!