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May Madness: Oklahoma State’s spring soccer season

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After a successful season, the OSU Cowgirls are now looking forward to the spring season.

The Cowgirl soccer team is not finished playing yet.

Although OSU concluded its nine-game Big 12 schedule last Thursday against Oklahoma, the odd nature of the 2020 soccer season means OSU will play meaningful soccer in the spring.

NCAA women’s soccer teams will be given an opportunity to schedule regular-season matches from Feb. 3-April 17 in the spring of 2020. The matches will give teams a chance to improve their records and build a case to the NCAA selection committee on why they should be invited to the NCAA soccer tournament.

“Our intention is to play seven or eight games this spring to get our team in position to hopefully get invited to the NCAA tournament,” OSU soccer coach Colin Carmichael said.

At this point, OSU’s spring opponents are not decided.

In a normal year, the NCAA women’s soccer tournament bracket contains 64 teams. This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, the bracket is only 48 teams deep. The field will consist of 31 automatic qualifiers and 17 at-large selections.

College sports fans are used to having Selection Sunday for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and soccer is no different. The field for the NCAA soccer tournament will be announced on April 18. The finals of the Women’s College Cup will be from May 13-17.

Carmichael said he feels like his team has done enough in the fall season to merit an invitation to the NCAA soccer tournament in the spring. He also expressed thankfulness for the soccer his team was able to play this season.

“We’re really blessed we’re at Oklahoma State and we’re in the Big 12 Conference and we get to play,” Carmichael said. “If this is all we get to play this year, we need to be thankful for that, and if we get to play in the spring, we’re going to go out there and make the most of it.”

For now, Cowgirl soccer fans waiting to find out if the team will make the postseason tournament will have to take an approach similar to the one midfielder Grace Yochum is taking.

“I hope (OSU did enough to make the tournament), I hope so. I’m going to pray,” Yochum said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com