Gabriella Coleman wasn’t about to miss.
Coleman received a pass from teammate Olyvia Dowell in the seventh minute of extra time. She rammed a shot into the top of the net past the outstretched arms of Notre Dame goalkeeper Jaina Eckert, scoring the golden goal to end the game. The No. 20 Cowgirls topped the Fighting Irish 2-1 Sunday afternoon.
“I curled it in kind of. I had to get my foot around the ball and it went in the upper 90,” Coleman said.
Coleman knew she couldn’t tighten up at the most critical moment of the game.
“I was like, ‘We gotta win this game’ and I had a really good feeling that we were going to push ourselves and fight through everything and I felt really positive about it. Especially being a home game and playing against a big-name team,” Coleman said.
Although Notre Dame (6-6) wasn’t ranked, the Cowgirls (12-3-1) picked up a valuable win on Saturday for NCAA Tournament seeding. The Fighting Irish play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a powerhouse of college soccer, and are better than their record implies. Now the Cowgirls can relax in the solace of their 6-1 record in the spring season.
“I think we are (in the tournament) but you never know, it’s a committee. The win allows us to rest easy, get healthy and start our preparation for the selection show knowing that our name is going to pop up,” OSU coach Colin Carmichael said.
It was important to restore some confidence after they took their first loss of the Spring season, a 4-0 dismantling against TCU, last weekend.
“Coming off that TCU game we were all a little down, but looking at the positive side we knew if we won this game this will hype ourselves up going into the tournament knowing we can play any team,” Coleman said.
Carmichael said that playing a quality non-Big 12 opponent in a tightly contested game had the feel of an NCAA tournament game. OSU will be prepared when it gets its first taste of NCAA tournament action when the school’s name is called during the selection show on Monday, April 19th.
“(Playing Notre Dame) was very similar to the NCAA Tournament, that’s exactly the level you have to play at to advance,” Carmichael said. “That game is a great preparation for the NCAAs.”