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Oklahoma State women’s soccer to play Big 12-only schedule in 2020

The Cowgirls will have three games broadcasted on ESPN Plus.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 13 Oklahoma State at Kansas State Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Oklahoma State women’s soccer will play a 13-game Big 12 conference-only schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Big 12 board of directors approved a plan to start fall sports after Sept. 1 with “high contact” sports like football, soccer and volleyball will have players tested for COVID-19 three a week, according to the Big 12’s release Wednesday. If a student-athlete tests positive for coronavirus, they must go through an electrocardiogram (EKG), troponin blood test, echocardiogram and cardiac MRI.

“The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a release. “Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we’ve seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions’ ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation, and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes. We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19.

“Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season, and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome.”

Reigning regular-season champion OSU is projected to finish second with three first-place votes and 70 points in the Big 12 preseason poll, as voted by the league’s head coaches. Texas Tech is the preseason favorite with six first-place votes and 72 points.

The Cowgirls will play Kansas, Kansas State, TCU and Texas Tech twice and every other Big 12 teams once. OSU will have three home games broadcasted on ESPN Plus: Texas Tech (Oct. 1), West Virginia (Oct. 18) and Texas (Oct. 29).

OSU will kick off its 2020 season in Texas with a Thursday, Sept. 10 trip to Lubbock to play Texas Tech then face TCU on Sept. 13 in Fort Worth. The Cowgirls will then play two home games at Neal Patterson Stadium against Kansas State on Thursday, Sept. 17 and Kansas on Sept. 20.

The annual Bedlam Series match against Oklahoma is set for Friday, Sept. 25 in Norman.

The Big 12 championship tournament will start Nov. 1 with the quarterfinals then the semifinals Nov. 6 and final Nov. 8 in Round Rock, Texas. The NCAA tournament is set to start Nov. 13.

The Cowgirls were 16-3-3 last season and claimed their second Big 12 regular season title in the last three years with a 7-1-1 mark in league play. OSU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship and finished No. 13 in the final national polls.

OSU returns eight players who started at least 13 games last season, highlighted by All-American defender Kim Rodriguez and all-conference players Olyvia Dowell, Charmé Morgan and Grace Yochum.

OSU’s 2020 schedule

Thurs., Sept. 10 — at Texas Tech (7 p.m.)

Sun., Sept. 13 — at TCU (1 p.m.)

Thurs., Sept. 17 — Kansas State (7 p.m.)

Sun,, Sept. 20 — Kansas (1 p.m.)

Fri., Sept. 25 — at Oklahoma (7 p.m.)

Thurs., Oct. 1 — Texas Tech (7 p.m.) on ESPN+

Sun., Oct. 4 — TCU (1 p.m.)

Fri., Oct. 9 — at Baylor (7 p.m.)

Thurs., Oct. 15 — Iowa State (7 p.m.)

Sun., Oct. 18 — West Virginia (1 p.m.) on ESPN+

Thurs., Oct. 22 — at Kansas State (7 p.m.)

Sun., Oct. 25 — at Kansas (1 p.m.)

Thurs., Oct. 29 — Texas (7 p.m.) on ESPN+