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Cowgirls return home to face No. 10 Texas, travel to Norman for Bedlam

OSU vs. Missouri State

Marlo Zoller attempts a shot vs. Missouri State.

After a two-week long hiatus of not playing at home, the Oklahoma State soccer team faces one of its biggest foes of the season. 

OSU will take on undefeated Texas at 7 p.m. Friday at Neal Patterson Stadium. Two days later, the No. 12 Cowgirls travel to Norman to battle Oklahoma at 2 p.m. in their second and final Bedlam match of the regular season.

Coming into Friday's match, OSU (10-1-0 overall, 2-0 Big 12) has a seven-match winning streak that goes back to late August. Throughout the winning stretch, the Cowgirls have shut out three opponents and haven't allowed more than one goal per match.

But the Longhorns (10-0-1, 1-0) aren't expected to be as easy an opponent as other teams have been.

"Difficult matches, of course, and it starts with Texas," coach Colin Carmichael said. "Top-10 team, really dynamic and their offense is really a handful."

On the Cowgirls' side, senior forward Marlo Zoller has stepped up in her role as a starter. She scored two goals in the past two games against Kansas State and Kansas. 

Tuesday, Zoller was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week.

Zoller leads the Cowgirls in points with six goals and two assists. 

On Zoller's two goals last week, sophomore defender Kim Rodriguez assisted. Even as a defender, Rodriguez has the third-most points on the team. 

"It didn't take much effort because (Rodriguez) put (the ball) right where it needed to be," Zoller said.

Rodriguez has been one of Carmichael's favorites for set pieces. The bulk of her assists have been from corner kicks and free kicks.

"She was very good as a freshman, but she's made huge strides this year," Carmichael said.

She has also showed her offensive ability with three goals this season.

Two days after Friday's match, the Cowgirls will face the Sooners (5-5-1, 1-1). OSU won its home opener against OU 2-1.

The Cowgirls are on a three-match winning streak against the Sooners. But in the past five years, they have gone 2-3 against OU in Norman. 

For Zoller and senior forward Haley Woodard, it's their last regular-season Bedlam in OSU uniforms.  

"I'm excited (for Bedlam)," Woodard said. "Hopefully I have a lot of family members that come."

Woodard, a Norman native, has played in only two Bedlam matches in her hometown. She missed her freshman and junior year matches in Norman because of injury.

Woodard jokingly added that she will return for next year's Bedlam as Carmichael's graduate assistant.

Carmichael said he doesn't want the Cowgirls to undermine either of their opponents. 

"Bedlam speaks for itself, as always, it will be a battle down in Norman," Carmichael said. "It's gonna be tough, but we're looking forward to it."

sports.ed@ocolly.com