By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
For a team coming off a pair of conference losses last week, Oklahoma State’s women’s soccer team didn’t come out with the type of reaction Cowgirl coach Colin Carmichael would have preferred to see in Friday’s contest with Iowa State.
“I thought the first half was the worst performance I can remember here — I’m sure there has been worse, but my memory’s not that good,” Carmichael said. “But the first half was the worst performance from a team I’ve coached in at least 10 years.
“Having said that, the second half was a hundred times better. We showed a lot of fight, desire and thought we had the better of it in the second half after getting absolutely pummeled in the first half. ... They got a little Eddie Sutton ‘do better’ talk at halftime and ... the effort in the second half was much better.”
But with that said, it was the Cowgirls who got the only goal of the game to get their first Big 12 Conference victory with a 1-0 win over the Cyclones.
A large reason for the victory would be the performance of OSU goalkeeper AD Franch, who had four saves in the victory.
“If it wasn’t for AD in the first half, we would have been down 3-1 and probably should have been down 3-1. But that’s why she’s the best keeper in the country,” Carmichael said. “I told the girls after the game they all owe her a big hug because without her we don’t win that game.”
With the All-American goalkeeper doing her thing in the net, it was getting a little frustrating in the first half to see the sluggish play in front of her.
“There’s going to be frustrations. Being back there is a roller coaster,” Franch said. “You’ll see a player do something really well and then all of the sudden do something really bad — or vice versa. You just try to keep your head in the game and let them know you have their back.”
While Oklahoma State may have been outshot 11-2 in the first half, it took just one attack for the Cowgirls to come away with the win. In the 14th minute of the game, OSU senior Megan Marchesano ran down an in ball and was tackled in the box by a Cyclone defender to draw a penalty kick.
“Whenever I’m in that position, Colin has always taught us to keep the ball on one side and keep the defender on the other and if you cut in front of them they have to either foul you or you’re going to score,” Marchesano said. “I just kept my body between her and the ball and that’s how I ended up drawing that foul. Coach teaches us how to do that pretty well.”
Marchesano, Oklahoma State’s leading scorer, buried the penalty kick into the lower left corner of the net on OSU’s first shot in the first half.
“Whenever I went up to take the PK, initially my thought was ‘We do these in practice, just put it in the side of the net’ and just focused on that,” the OSU senior said. “Just don’t think too much and just visualize myself putting it in.”
Oklahoma State upped the play in the second half, getting seven shots off — while the Cyclones had just five. The Cowgirls had several scoring opportunities come up just short, including a shot by George Christie that went just wide of the net with 27 minutes left in the game.
Iowa State’s best chance to score the equalizer came with just under two minutes left in the contest. With the Cyclones getting a corner kick, an Iowa State player headed the ball toward the goal where it was kicked out by OSU’s Miriam Rhinehart along the goal line.
Oklahoma State will have to come out stronger in its next game against Bedlam rival Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Sunday.
“I hope we come out fighting. If we don’t, we’ll lose — it’s that simple,” Carmichael said. “We got left off tonight. ... If we come out and play hard, we have enough talent to beat anybody.”