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Notebook: Cowgirls getting into conference groove, Yochum staying healthy

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Grace Yochum

Grace Yochum is 5-1-1 versus OU in her career at OSU.

OSU coach Colin Carmichael is impressed with the Cowgirls in conference play thus far, but confirmed the job isn’t done

OSU currently sits in a three-way tie with Texas and TCU for first in the Big 12.

Here’s a notebook from this week’s presser.

Yochum back to playing, but still not quite at 100%

Grace Yochum returned to action last week against Texas Tech after missing the Kansas trip with an injury. Yochum said she wasn’t herself against Tech, but expecting the usual performance from a player of her caliber following an injury is irrational. Following some more practices, Yochum is getting back up to speed, but is still not quite fully healthy.

“I felt really good, I still don’t really feel like 100%, but I’m getting back there,” Yochum said. “It’s just gonna be day by day.”

Sitting out and watching from home was something new for Yochum and it didn’t sit right with her watching from afar. For a girl who’s not missed a lot of time outside of a collarbone injury, it took some adjusting and getting used to.

“I really struggled, I actually wasn't even able to travel to Kansas, so that really hit me hard because I've never not been able to travel,” Yochum said. “It was really hard, mentally, not something I want to go through again. So I'm really happy to be back.”

Carmichael likes what he’s seen from the Cowgirls early in conference play

Despite the draw last week, the Cowgirls are still atop the Big 12 rankings and have been playing some of their best ball of the season as of recently. Following three conference matches, Carmichael graded his squad so far and it's safe to say he’s impressed. So impressed, he decided to give a grade anyone would want to take home.

“Probably an A, or A-,” Carmichael said. “You know, we had to tie with Tech, but I don’t think that was a bad tie. Tech turned around and went down to Norman and beat OU. To go on the road the week before and beat the two Kansas teams was A+. Any time you go on the road for a double weekend, come back with two wins in conference, that’s huge. This team has done really well.”

Playing press defense vs. deep defense

Scoring goals in soccer aren't all often, but it happens. But, for the Cowgirl defense, allowing goals is somewhat of a rarity. With 12 games played and only five goals allowed, the defense has played like a top defense in the country should. Against Texas Tech, the Cowgirls played deeper in their formation based on the Red Raiders’ personnel. Ally Jackson explained the rationale for playing deep against the Red Raiders, but she still likes playing press defense.

“Based on our personnel we’re playing against we always try to figure out what kind of line we want to set,” Jackson said. “I feel like in the Tech game we kind of lost track of that. So yeah, this game we’re going to try to push higher and I think our team is better when we press so that’s kind of what we’ve realized.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com