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OSU's goalkeeper position in safe hands

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Goalkeeper Dani Greenlee during Bedlam Round one against the University of Oklahoma, at John Crain Field, in Norman OK, on August 29, 2019.

With the game in sudden death overtime and the goal gaping in front of Oklahoma midfielder Jordan Lund, the only hope for Oklahoma State was backup goalkeeper Dani Greenlee.

A Bedlam battle fought to the bitter end, which not only resulted in a 2-2 draw, but a hard decision for the OSU coaches to make moving forward on the goalkeeping position.

Hannah Warner, OSU’s sophomore goalkeeper, started the game against Oklahoma as she did against Lamar and UTSA. Warner saw four shots and had two saves in the first half before she was substituted.

OSU head coach Colin Carmichael said the change was injury-related.

“Hannah (Warner) was tight. We didn’t plan on changing,” Carmichael said.

With Warner sitting out, back-up goalkeeper Dani Greenlee was put in to defend the Cowgirls’ 1-0 halftime lead. Greenlee said she was nervous but prepared to play.

“I always wake up in the morning expecting to play because you never know what’s going to happen,” Greenlee said. “Unfortunately for Hannah (Warner) she got injured, but fortunately for me, I got the opportunity to play.”

Greenlee faced a Crimson onslaught in the second half. After OSU senior Jaci Jones doubled the Cowgirls’ lead in the 66th minute, OU began testing Greenlee more and more.

In the final 15 minutes, Sooners’ forward Kaylee Dao found the back of the net twice. The first off of a penalty kick and the second goal came with three minutes left in the game. Despite the goals, Carmichael had high praise for his goalkeeper.

“I got to give an unbelievable amount of credit for Dani Greenlee,” said Carmichael. “The penalty there’s nothing she could do. Kaylee Dao is a big-time player her second goal was fantastic. We felt like we could have defended it better but it was nothing on Dani.”

Her finest moment came midway through the first overtime. The Sooners had the ball in OSU’s penalty box and found Lund lurking at the far post unmarked. With a clean look at the goal, Lund rocketed the ball towards goal only to be denied from the outstretched hands of Greenlee. Carmichael said that save was the difference between losing and a draw.

“She made a play late to save the game for us,” Carmichael said. “To come off the bench in this environment and perform the way Dani did was big time I was really pleased for her.”

Carmichael said as the season progresses, the decision for who starts in goal for the Cowgirls will be based on week-to-week training and their performances in upcoming games. 

Jones said she was proud of Greenlee’s performance tonight and is glad she doesn’t have to make the choice that the coaches do.

“Hannah (Warner) and Dani (Greenlee) they’re both amazing keepers and the fact that they’re both here, we’re so lucky,” Jones said. “As for the coaches I’d hate to be them because they have a hard decision to make.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com