For the first time in 715 days, the Oklahoma State Cowgirl soccer team (3-1-1) left Neal Patterson Stadium with a loss.
The No. 12 TCU Horned Frogs beat the No. 4 Oklahoma State women's soccer team on Friday night in Stillwater, scoring two goals in the final four minutes to defeat OSU 2-1.
The match didn’t start out on such a bad foot for the Cowgirls, especially for OSU defender Hannah Webb. In the 22nd minute, Webb unleashed her first shot of the season. The ball arched over the outstretched arms of TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado and into the goal. It was Webb’s first career goal.
The Cowgirls would ride into halftime on the back of Webb’s goal up 1-0.
The Cowgirls utilized a bend but don’t break defense throughout the first 85 minutes of the match. TCU’s offensive attack centered around possessing the ball deep into Cowgirl territory and waiting for chances to happen.
“Yeah, it definitely did (feel like TCU’s offensive attack was going to catch up to OSU later in the match),” OSU coach Colin Carmichael said. “(TCU) is really good at possessing the ball, we knew that coming into the game, we knew they would probably have more of the ball then we did.”
Part of the reason why the Cowgirl defense didn’t break early on in this match was because of the OSU defenders’ willingness to sacrifice their bodies for the team.
On numerous occasions, the OSU defenders dove in front of TCU goal scoring chances.
“We are committed, we play as a team and we know that we’re going to fight for each other,” OSU defender Kionna Simon said. “If I dive and get my body in front of a player that’s bigger than me and I block their shot, I know that my teammates will do the same thing for me whenever I can’t do it.”
OSU’s offensive attack in Friday’s match was the same as it has been all season, to push the ball downfield quickly.
“We wanted to hurt them on counter attacks when we had the ball, and that’s kind of how our team has shaped up,” Carmichael said.
Normally, the OSU offense is able to capitalize on its swift counterstrike attacks, but normally it isn't trying to get the ball past TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.
Alvarado is one of the premier keepers in the Big 12 and a teammate of OSU defender Kim Rodriguez on the Mexican National Team.
“You have to respect the type of goalie that she is and just be a little more clinical when you get those opportunities because when you have a goalie that’s that talented, you’re not going to get as many opportunities as you normally would,” Webb said.
In the 85th minute of the match, TCU junior forward Maddy Warren received a pass deep into the middle of the OSU box with her back facing the goal. Instead of turning and trying to muster a shot, Warren deflected the ball to her right and into the goal. The Horned Frogs equalized the score 1-1.
The regulation timer expired, and OSU would head to overtime for the third consecutive match.
“Maybe giving up the late goal kind of shook us a little bit and maybe we hadn’t quite recovered going into overtime,” Carmichael said.
However, unlike OSU’s previous two matches, this week’s overtime was quick.
TCU attacked OSU right out of the gate in the overtime period. TCU Forward Brandi Peterson dribbled niftily down the heart of the OSU defense and rolled a right-footed game winning shot in the bottom left corner of the goal that OSU goalkeeper Emily Plotz had no real chance to stop.
“It was uncharacteristic of the backs,” Carmichael said. “I thought they did a pretty good job all night of blocking shots and contesting and on that one play we just didn’t.”
Even though both teams played relatively well throughout the night, there were enough subtle differences to lift TCU to a road victory.
“It’s hard to complain about the quality of that game,” Carmichael said. “There were some really soccer, from both teams, and maybe the difference was when we got those really good looks their keeper made some spectacular plays.”