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Yochum plays beyond her years in crucial draw

Bedlam Soccer 2018

Oklahoma State's Grace Yochum battles for the ball during the Cowgirls' home-opener against Oklahoma. 

In a clash between two ranked soccer powers in the Big 12, the Oklahoma State soccer team and its resolute freshman midfielder held their own, playing to a draw at 1 against Texas.

Grace Yochum showed poise beyond her freshman experience in the barnburner of a match. Yochum played all 110 minutes of action in the double-overtime thriller, filling in for a pair of her Cowgirl teammates.

Early in the game, junior Jaci Jones and senior Julia Lenhardt were substituted out because of injury. The change in personnel led to Yochum becoming the rock in the midfield for the Cowgirls for the rest of the game, a job which coach Colin Carmichael said Yochum executed quite well.

“We lost two of our key players early in the game, two of our captains, two of our leaders,” Carmichael said. “Without Julia (Lenhardt), Yochum had to take a more defensive posture … she was great tonight. She won headers, she won tackles, 50-50s, her passing was great, she was dangerous going forward. She’s a total player, she’s a total package.”

Yochum did all the things that didn’t show up in the box score. Her final tally for recorded stats was only two shots, but her teammates took notice of her performance regardless.

“She’s just continuing to get so much better every game,” senior Haley Woodard said. “She’s calmer, she’s more collected … if she’s not on the ball, you can tell, so we tell her ‘get on the ball, get some passes, make some plays,’ because she’s really good at it and she plays way older than a freshman.”

Despite stepping up and making some crucial tackles and passes, Yochum judged her confidence level and performance like a team player.

“It’s all in the coaching staff and the players,” Yochum said. “They’re loving on me, giving me all the confidence in the world to go do my thing and not hold me back, so yeah, I’m incredibly blessed to play at a place like this and under coaches like that. They’re huge for my confidence.”