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Cowgirl soccer tallies third consecutive victory

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Members of the OSU Cowgirl soccer team celebrate a goal by Haley Woodard during the Oklahoma State vs. San Francisco soccer game on Sept. 9, 2018, at Neal Patterson Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/O'COLLY)

Although the Oklahoma State soccer team didn’t score until more than 70 minutes had passed, it claimed a statement victory Sunday.

Playing in their second game of the weekend, the Cowgirls defeated San Francisco 3-0 despite not getting their first goal until the 74th minute. The victory was OSU’s third in a row and marked the last time the Cowgirls play at home until Sept. 28 against Texas.

Three goals in 14 minutes highlighted the game and broke the long deadlock. Sophomore Kim Rodriguez slotted home a penalty kick after Camy Huddleston was fouled in the box. For the second goal, freshman Grace Yochum played the ball through to herself and crossed it to a waiting Marlo Zoller, who tapped it in only four minutes later. Captain Haley Woodard put the exclamation point on the game in the 88th minute when she blasted home her third goal of the year from 20 yards out.

The first half was a back-and-forth matter with the Cowgirls (6-1) and Dons getting some fleeting opportunities at net. Yochum said OSU had to come out and reverse its performance going into the second half.

“First half, we weren’t playing nearly as good as we wanted to,” Yochum said. “We had some chances, but we couldn’t finish. We went into halftime and talked about what we needed to do and came out here ready to play.”

Zoller, who leads the Cowgirls with four goals on the season, said getting the breakthrough penalty from Rodriguez was liberating for the offense.

“It was basically a sigh of relief,” Zoller said. “I felt like we had been running at the back line quite a bit and getting opportunities because they were tiring, but just not finishing. Just to finally get a goal and boost morale was good.”

At half, USF (5-2) had two shots on goal. After the break, the Cowgirl defense stepped up and allowed only one more shot on frame. OSU’s defenders had to make adjustments without starter Elise Hawn, who missed the USF game after a hamstring injury Friday against California. Midfielder Hannah Webb moved back to defense.

Coach Colin Carmichael said the victory was a big boost for a Cowgirl team that has four straight road games ahead.

“Our kids didn’t play as well as we’d like to, but we found a way to win,” Carmichael said. “Every team throws up different challenges. We’re happy with where we are. We think we keep growing as a team, and next week we go on the road, and we gotta play well there, too.

“These kids deserve some praise, they’ve done really well for the start of the season.”