When the Oklahoma State women’s soccer team arrives in Lawrence to play against the Kansas Jayhawks, it will be more prepared for its opponent than the trip to Manhattan to start the season.
That might be on default.
OSU opened with a 3-0 road win against Kansas State the day after it was supposed to open against Oklahoma in Norman. The Bedlam game was rescheduled for Nov. 12.
The Sooners had to postpone on the day of the match due to COVID testing. That left OSU stranded for an opponent until the conference re-routed the Cowgirls to play the Wildcats the next day.
That will not be the case in OSU’s second trip into the state of Kansas. For one, the Cowgirls have planned for the trip, sticking to their original schedule without postponements littering it. OSU coach Colin Carmichael sees the changes when comparing the two matches.
“It’s very different,” Carmichael said. “I mean obviously both teams now, ourselves and the Jayhawks, have a week to prepare for each other. So, it’s different in that aspect, and then secondly, Right now we’re in midseason and kind of have our identity a little bit. So do they… K-State was just such an unknown for both teams. We just went and played. It was just like, ‘Hey, let’s roll the ball out and let’s go.’ This game’s a little bit more, ‘Here’s what Kansas do, here’s what we’re going to do.’”
While some players have plenty of experience against the Jayhawks, it hasn’t been in Lawrence.
Senior wingback Charmé Morgan has only played in Lawrence once in her OSU career, limiting the experienced Cowgirls to one game of knowledge about the Jayhawks atmosphere and field. The KU field was notable to Morgan in her previous visit.
“Playing at Kansas, I’ve only played there once,” Morgan said. “It’s a nice facility. It’s a good field, and you know we have a good field here, too. So, I mean, it’s kind of the same.”
For others, the trip to Lawrence will be the first of their career. One of them is Olyvia Dowell. Her only experience playing against Kansas came in the past season when OSU beat Kansas 5-2 at Neal Patterson Stadium and lost 2-1 in the Big 12 semifinals.
“I think we should go in obviously confident, but also realizing this is a new year for everyone,” Dowell said. “It’s a different year for everyone. Different team, different players. So just kind of focusing on ourselves, and focusing on bouncing back from the TCU game and just getting our confidence back.”