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Cowgirl defense helps win grapple in 'The Little Apple'

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Hannah Webb warms up before the Oklahoma State soccer match vs. Tulsa at Neal Patterson Stadium on April 6, 2019.

With nine minutes left in the Oklahoma State soccer season opener, senior Cowgirl goalkeeper Emily Plotz got hit with Kansas State’s (0-1) best shot. It was also the Wildcat’s only shot-on-goal.

After a two-goal burst by the Cowgirl (1-0) offense to open the match, the outcome of the match had essentially been determined. The lead would prove too difficult to overcome for a Wildcat team that had to contend with the Cowgirl defense.

Lockdown defense was displayed by the Cowgirls throughout the entirety of their 3-0 win.

Even without stellar defender Kim Rodriguez, who was suspended for a red card she had earned in her final game of 2019, the backline of OSU would prove stifling.

Defenders Hannah Webb, Ally Jackson and Kionna Simon started the match strong for OSU. After the Cowgirls took a lead, defenders including Summer Chaffin, Charmé Morgan and Alex Morris were subbed in — all of whom continued the stellar defensive effort.

“I think Kionna Simon deserves a special mention,” coach Colin Carmichael said. “Being a freshman back there, she‘s kind of been up and down in the preseason but she stepped up big.”

The contest proved to be a game where the Cowgirls maintained a steady lead in time of possession. The ball was also consistently in KSU’s half of the field, due to good clearances and passing by the OSU backline.

Senior Wildcat defender Shelby Lierz had a decent look at goal in the first half, but she was corralled by Cowgirl defenders and her shot was wide.

The one shot-on-goal for Kansas State came off of a set-piece. With nine minutes left in the match, a Wildcat sent a shot over the wall of bodies that the Cowgirls formed. Senior goalkeeper Emily Plotz, who was making her OSU debut after transferring in from Stetson, absorbed the shot skillfully — cementing a shutout.

Carmichael, who spoke at halftime about wanting his team to avoid mistakes and making Kansas State work hard for every opportunity, was happy with his team’s defense.

“Getting a shutout…our defensive shape was pretty good,” Carmichael said. “We’ll continue to work on that but of course we are pleased to go on the road and get a 3-0 win.