STILLWATER — Bigger name, bigger victory.
That was the case Friday at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex as the Oklahoma State University women’s soccer rolled to a 3-1 victory over Vanderbilt, from the Southeastern Conference.
“Scoring three goals after getting a little bit of criticism for only getting one each game last week was very pleasing,” OSU coach Colin Carmichael said. “... I think our girls kind of recognized Vanderbilt’s name a little bit more than last weekend and that motivated them.
“But I also think they learned from last weekend. There’s no easy games and nobody is going to come in here and roll over for us.”
The Cowgirls (3-0), who scored two goals combined in last weekend’s victories of UMKC and Weber State, scored their first goal in the opening half — for the first time this season.
“It changes the whole game scoring early because now they have to attack us and we can kind of sitting in there a little bit and don’t feel the pressure to push as many numbers forward,” Carmichael said. “Whenever you score that first goal it helps a ton because that team has to make a decision: do they stay in or do they come out? And obviously they came out and tried to win the game and it opened up space for us.”
The goal came with just under 15 minutes left in the half as freshman Allie Stephenson worked her way through the Vanderbilt defenders to score the first goal of her Cowgirl career.
The goal for the freshman forward from Lee’s Summit, Mo., came after an opening weekend in which she got off nine shots and was one of the top performers for the Cowgirl squad.
“Last weekend I couldn’t knock one in, but to finally get one it was a case of right place, right time,” Stephenson said.
Carmichael said he was happy to see the freshman finally crack into the goal category to help alleviate any pressure on Stephenson.
“She might not score a better one, it was pretty special,” the OSU coach said. “ ... I think confidence-wise, it’s a great one for Allie.”
Cowgirl senior forward Megan Marchesano, one of OSU’s top attackers last year, also registered her first goal of the young season. Marchesano capitalized on a misplayed ball in the box by Vandy’s defense to give OSU a 2-0 lead less than seven minutes into the second half.
Vanderbilt cut the lead in half 12 minutes later when Oklahoma State misplayed a ball in the air on OSU’s side of midfield. The Lady Commodores got off a a pass through the middle of the box that was buried past goalkeeper AD Franch.
“Two of our players went up to challenge for the same air ball and neither one of them one and the ball rolled to the player of the player that shouldn’t have gone up for it and they centered it and scored,” Carmichael said. “From our standpoint, it was very avoidable. ... The lead up to it was really just ugly and shouldn’t have really happened.”
Oklahoma State took the pressure back off themselves with eight minutes remaining when freshman Mackenzie Kahan headed in a deflection in the box — which tipped off the outstretched hand of the Vanderbilt goalkeeper and just barely went over the end line.
“I just saw the open goal. I’m a defensive mid, so I kind of left my position. But I just happen to be in the right place at the right time,” Kahan said.
Oklahoma State will return to the pitch Sunday for a 1 p.m. contest against Creighton, while Vanderbilt will travel down to Norman to the University of Oklahoma.
Jason Elmquist is sports editor for The Stillwater NewsPress.
STILLWATER — Bigger name, bigger victory.
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