The OSU women’s soccer team defeated Little Rock 3-0 to open up its spring soccer season. The Cowgirls played nine conference games last Fall but will turn to their spring schedule to boost their NCAA tournament résumé.
“We have the same team, more or less, we have the same players, we know what we want to do, we know the style of play we want to have, but in the same sense, it’s kind of a new chapter experiencing this whole spring thing and the NCAA tournament,” OSU junior midfielder Grace Yochum said.
Yochum should be prominently featured in the first paragraph of the second chapter of the Cowgirls season.
In the 8th minute of the game, Cowgirl defender Kim Rodriguez sent a ball to the back post where Yochum found herself in the perfect spot to poke the ball past the Trojan’s goaltender for OSU’s first goal of the spring.
“(The first goal) is really important because I think it just settles everyone down,” OSU coach Colin Carmichael said.
The Cowgirls settled down in a great way. They proceeded to outshoot Little Rock 11-3 in the first half and 19-7 overall.
Sophomore forward Olyvia Dowell, who was the OSU co-leader in goals in the fall, scored two more on Sunday, one in the 22nd minute and the other in the 57th.
“We wanted to get that third goal and kind of put it to bed and we did that and once we did that, we were able to rotate some players,” Carmichael said. “We wanted to get some other kids an opportunity to see what they could do.”
In the fall, every game was a conference game, and it was difficult for Carmichael to explore other options on the bench. He wanted to see what young players such as goalkeeper Amber Lockwood, forward Morgan Bynum and midfielder Hayley Ledford could do.
“First and foremost, they deserve it, they work their socks off just as Kim Rodriguez an All-American does, but Hayley Ledford shows up every day and works just as hard. It makes me feel great to reward those kids for all their effort, and it builds team chemistry,” Carmichael said.
The author of chapter two of the spring Cowgirl soccer season should be on the lookout for a book deal, because the opening pages were really good.
“I thought we played really well,” Yochum said. “For not having played since last fall, especially for the first couple minutes of the first half, we gave it to them, and we came out really hard so I think this is a great first step.”