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Goalies return to home state, play in first match for OSU

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Soccer vs Kansas

Ary Purifoy (left) and Samiah Phiri (right) pose for a picture after their win over Kansas at Neal Patterson Stadium. 

Evie Vitali was OSU's starting goalie in 2021 but has since transferred, along with her backup, Amber Lockwood.

This left redshirt freshman Ary Purifoy as the remaining goalkeeper for the Cowgirls. Since the end of the fall season, OSU coach Colin Carmichael has brought on two goalies who are native Oklahomans and who grew up OSU fans.

Jordan Burbank, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M, and Peyton Pearson, a junior transfer from Kansas State fill in for the Vitali and Lockwood. 

Burbank, who started at goalie in Wednesday night’s exhibition, attended Edmond North High School and is the daughter of OSU two-sport letterman alum, Dennis Burbank, who played for two legendary OSU coaches in Gary Ward and Eddie Sutton.

“My dream as a little kid was to always follow Dad,” Burbank said. “It felt really great coming back to my home state while being away for so long and playing at the same school my dad played at.”

Pearson went to high school at Broken Arrow and attending OSU is something her family has done for generations.

“My grandparents and parents are all graduates from here,” Pearson said. “Most of my family has graduated from Oklahoma State and being able to come back here and be a part of that is an add-on to the list.”

For both Cowgirls, a new team comes with new challenges, especially in the beginning trying to adapt to a new playing environment.

“You know, first game, all we wanted to do was get them in, get them comfortable, kind of get all the nerves gone and move forward,” Carmichael said. “All spring we will split them half and half and give them plenty of opportunities.”

Within the first 10 minutes of the match against Oral Roberts, Burbank found herself in a tough spot after ORU scored to take the lead.

“Jordan made a mistake for the first goal,” Carmichael said. “She got caught on the ball, but again, first game and hasn't played in ages so I wasn’t too worried about it.”

Following the goal, Burbank played goal-free soccer for the remainder of her playing time and had multiple saves for OSU.

“After the goal I really just took a step back and took a breath,” Burbank said. “Again, this is a learning process. It’s me figuring out how to play with the backline and the backline figuring out how to play with me. I was bummed, but I wasn’t fazed.”

Pearson, who played goalie the second half, watched a last-minute ball sail over her outstretched arms and into the back of the net.

It put the match at a score of 3-2 in favor of the Cowgirls, but it still showed that the new goalie needs more time to become comfortable with her new team.