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Success in 2020: Unlike anything seen before

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NCAA 2019 Division I Women's Soccer Championship

Junior Hannah Webb takes theball down the field as The Oklahoma State University Cowgirls face off against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits at Neal Patterson Stadium in Stillwater Oklahoma on Nov. 15, 2019

Normally in athletic competition, whether it’s Pop Warner football or professional bowling, success means winning a championship.

In 2020, however, nothing is normal. Success for the Oklahoma State soccer team this season looks a bit different than normal.

“Honestly just getting out there and playing a game,” said senior defender Hannah Webb when asked what would make the 2020 season a success. “Playing someone other than our own team in practice, I think that is a success in itself.”

By that definition, the Cowgirls can celebrate a successful 2020 campaign because they played their first game on Saturday.

Merely playing a soccer match against another team is something Webb rightly didn’t take for granted.

OSU had its initial season-opening match canceled after its scheduled opponent, Oklahoma, failed to meet the Big 12 minimum standards for COVID-19. It was only thanks to some last-second flexibility on the part of the OSU and Kansas State coaching staffs that a game was even played.

As successful as it is to play a game this season, OSU has its eyes set on more than 90 minutes of soccer.

“Looking a little bit more big picture, obviously we want to win as many Big 12 games as possible and get another ring,” Webb said with a smile.

“This team is really good,” junior midfielder Grace Yochum said. “I think we have the potential to win the Big 12.”

Yochum, like her teammate Webb, is thankful her team is playing soccer this season, but hopeful that success will be defined by winning games rather than simply stepping onto the field.

“I think there’s lots of levels of success, but you have to recognize what’s going on in the world and take those successes when you can,” Webb said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com