The offense is finally starting to shine.
Oklahoma State defeated Kansas 3-1 to make its Big 12 record 1-1.
A large factor in the recent offensive breakthrough for the Cowgirls is the play of junior forward Olyvia Dowell. Dowell has scored three of OSU’s last four goals, all of which have come in the team's first two Big 12 contests.
Despite the match resulting in a win, it was the Jayhawks that came out firing. Only nine minutes into Sunday’s contest, Kansas forward Brie Severns put a slow rolling goal in the back of the net to give KU a 1-0 advantage, but it was the quick resolve of Dowell and the Cowgirls that defined the match.
Dowell scored the first of her two goals only four minutes later to draw OSU even with the Jayhawks, and as soon as the goal crossed the plane, momentum shifted to the side of the Cowgirls.
“When (Olivia) scored the first goal it really settled us down and gave us a big boost. (Olivia) was dealing with some allergies today, so for her to fight through that and play as well as she did was big, and I think we’re seeing Lyv back to her best now,” coach Colin Carmichael said.
Dowell swiftly followed up her first goal with a second, as only eight minutes later she gave OSU a 2-1 lead. The junior’s return to peak fitness has been a game changer for the Cowgirls. Both Dowell and Carmichael thought her first game back near 100% was against Baylor, where she scored the team’s lone goal and really stood out as an offensive engine throughout the game.
Some Cowgirls thought the team squandered a good opportunity to win earlier in the week against Baylor, and that chip on their shoulder was another factor that pushed them to respond to the early strife caused by Kansas’s goal.
“Coach went over some statistics that said we had more chances (against Baylor) and we should have finished them, and today we did that. We also were playing with a chip on our shoulder because we should have won that Baylor game, and today we came out and just gave it to them,” Senior Charmé Morgan said.
Morgan scored the third of OSU’s goals, putting a penalty kick in the bottom right to give the Cowgirls a two-goal cushion for the last fifteen minutes of the game.
While Dowell will get the most flowers of anyone on the team this week, the thing that really differentiated OSU Sunday was the set-ups by teammates that put Dowell in a position to score, and the dominant showing on the defensive end to keep the Jayhawks scoreless for eighty-one minutes after an early goal that could easily be described as lucky.
“I have to commend my teammates, Hannah Webb winning the ball, and me getting there and Kim playing a perfect ball, I thought it was a beautiful goal our second goal, there was a lot of movement, and it was a really good ball,” Dowell said.