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Cowgirls aim for strong ending to regular season

OSU soccer vs. Lamar

Elena Brynjarsdottir throws up pistols firing during Friday's soccer game vs. Lamar on August 24, 2018 at Neil Patterson Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/O'COLLY)

Despite disappointment during the past few weeks, the Oklahoma State soccer team is adapting to whatever its season brings.

The Cowgirls (10-4-1 overall, 2-3-1 Big 12) have three guaranteed games left in the regular season with the possibility of postseason play resting somewhat on the results of those contests. OSU will face No. 16 West Virginia at 6 p.m. Friday before honoring its seniors against Iowa State at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Cowgirls will also have a game on Thursday against TCU to wrap up their season before the Big 12 tournament.

It has been a trying campaign for coach Colin Carmichael and his squad. The defending Big 12 champions have suffered several close conference losses and had the injury bug bite numerous players in the latter half of the season. OSU’s top two scorers, seniors Haley Woodard and Marlo Zoller, will miss the weekend games. Carmichael said much of the rest of the season will come down to how the Cowgirls adapt to their circumstances.

“Nobody wants to deal with injuries,” Carmichael said. “But it’s part of the deal, so we have to have other players step up, take minutes and play well. Unfortunately, some of the players we lost are some of our key players, and that makes it a little more difficult, but at the same time it’s an opportunity for other players to step up and do well.”

One of those players looking to make a difference is Elena Brynjarsdóttir, a freshman forward who played out of position earlier in the season. Brynjarsdóttir, who hails from Iceland, will look to fill in at forward to help at the injury-depleted position.

“Mainly, my focus is on giving my effort in the game for the team,” Brynjarsdóttir said. “(My goal is) definitely to use my opportunity when Colin (Carmichael) gives me minutes.”

OSU will need to finish in the top eight of the conference standings to make it to the Big 12 tournament, which takes place Oct. 28 through Nov. 4 in Kansas City, Missouri. With the prospect of a third straight berth in the NCAA Tournament at stake , Carmichael said no spot is sealed and OSU must lock its sights on the end goal.

“Priority one is we have to solidify our place in the Big 12 tournament,” Carmichael said. “Big picture is we want to get into the NCAA Tournament. We don’t know how many wins we need for that, it really depends, but I know our RPI is 24 right now, so if the NCAA tournament was today, we’d be in. But there’s more soccer to play.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com