The Oklahoma State Cowgirl Soccer team (1-0) toppled the Kansas State Wildcats (0-1) on Saturday night in Manhattan by a score of 3-0. Due to COVID-19 related cancellations, this game was supposed to be played in November. Instead, OSU got out to a win in its season opener.
There are a few significant numbers from Saturday’s game that, when focused in on, will show with greater clarity how the Cowgirls managed to start off on the right foot in conference play.
Kansas State’s one shot on goal
The defense displayed by the Cowgirls in Manhattan was impeccable, and especially impressive considering OSU was without the services of preseason First Team All-Big 12 defender Kim Rodriguez. The stellar defender was serving the remainder of a suspension for incurring a red card in OSU’s final match of 2019. Veteran defenders Hannah Webb and Ally Jackson played well for the Cowgirls, and freshman defender Kionna Simon earned words of praise from OSU coach Collin Carmichael after the match for the quality minutes she gave her team. The Cowgirl defense proved to be stifling all night and wasted no time in securing OSU’s first shutout of the season.
124 seconds for the Cowgirls to score two goals
With a lack of preseason games and reduced offseason, it was anyone’s guess as to how either team would start out of the gate. Junior Midfielder Grace Yochum put an end to any thoughts of a slow start for OSU when she put a great first touch on a ball from Ally Jackson and chipped KSU goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer from 28-yards out. The Yochum score was followed up a mere six seconds later with another goal, this time from senior Cowgirl forward Gabriella Coleman. The early scoring frenzy enabled OSU to play with a sizeable lead for the entirety of the match, essentially cementing a victory early on.
Emily Plotz’s zero starts prior to Saturday
Plotz doesn’t lack experience, in fact far from it. She was a standout performer at Stetson University, where she led the Atlantic Sun Conference in saves for the last two years. Plotz won the starting job in Cowgirl off-season and had a clean slate in her first Big 12 game. She was only tested with one shot on goal (which she absorbed nicely) but was still able to get valuable experience in a new conference.