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Looking back: Summarizing soccer's wild season

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Kim Rodriguez

It is only fitting the 2020 season began with a COVID-19 cancelation.

The Oklahoma State soccer team finished a season unlike one any of the players will ever again experience. Stretching from early September to early May, the eight-month behemoth was finally laid to rest after OSU’s loss in the NCAA tournament Wednesday against Texas A&M. 

Instead of facing Oklahoma to begin the season, COVID-19 forced the Cowgirls to Manhattan. Junior Grace Yochum's chip-in goal elevated the Cowgirls over Kansas State. The team was simply glad to be playing after a period of time when college spring sports were a question mark.

OSU's season was dramatic early on. They defeated Iowa State off of a second-chance penalty kick in the 86th minute and No. 4 West Virginia with late-game heroics from sophomore forward Olyvia Dowell.

The Cowgirls came into the middle portion of their schedule with a perfect record and top-5 ranking, but struggled, losing twice and drawing once.

OSU finished the fall 3-0, including ending the season with the game that was postponed, a 1-0 Bedlam victory.

The Cowgirls almost had a flawless spring, going 6-1. The strong showing was important because postseason seeding was on the line.

OSU was given a 10-seed in the NCAA tournament, a pleasant surprise from what OSU coach Collin Carmichael expected. The Cowgirls were rewarded for an excellent spring and playing in a strong conference with a trip to North Carolina for a condensed NCAA Tournament.

The largest goal differential in the entire tournament came in OSU’s 7-0 steamrolling of South Alabama, the school Carmichael previously played at.

Texas A&M, OSU’s Sweet 16 opponent, gave the Cowgirls trouble with their athleticism, making it hard to counter-attack. A back-and-forth struggle remained tied after 90 minutes of regulation. OSU fought through 18 minutes of extra time with 10 men after a red card from Charmé Morgan to send the game into a penalty kick shootout, where the Cowgirls lost 4-3.

“I’ll remember most about this season that we left our mark here in the NCAA tournament,” OSU forward Gabriella Coleman said. “We made it to the Sweet 16, of course we didn’t make it to the Elite 8, but I made it far with this team and I’m really proud of them for that.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com