Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 20, 2012

Freshmen already making impact for Cowgirl soccer squad

STILLWATER, Okla. — With the Oklahoma State women’s soccer team looking to replace the most talented senior class in program history, coach Colin Carmichael expected his freshman class to contribute.

That’s exactly what he got from the talented rookies in the opening weekend of action.

A trio of freshmen — Madison Mercado, Allie Stephenson and Makenzie Kahan — cracked the starting lineup in both contests against UMKC and then Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Weber State.

“It’s good and bad. Obviously there is a lot of talent with Mercado and Stephenson as two of our most dangerous players going forward,” Carmichael said. “What comes with that though is the youth and inexperience in decision making that’s not quite there yet. It will come and it will get better.”

Following the 1-0 victory over UMKC, Carmichael had pegged Stephenson as the best player wearing a Cowgirl uniform. In her first game for Oklahoma State, Stephenson had six shots — same as fellow freshman Mercado.

“It’s really flattering,” Stephenson said. “I just tried to play my game and not get frustrated when we couldn’t those goals in the first half. Just tried to keep composure and play our game.”

In Sunday’s victory, sophomore George Christie — who is seeing significant playing time as compared to a year ago — scored her first career goal, with the assist coming from veteran Taylor Mathews.

While OSU didn’t put up nearly as many shots against Weber State (17 for the game) as opposed to 30 against UMKC, it was the freshmen again who were the aggressors in the attacking third.

Stephenson led a trio of Cowgirls with three shots in the contest, while Mercado also had two shots of her own. Freshman Heidi Greeson also came off the bench to put two shots up.

“The upperclassmen are really helping us and giving us confidence,” Stephenson said. “They’re really guiding and positive. So it’s really helping us settle in and make us feel comfortable.”

Oklahoma State (2-0) will return to the Cowgirl Soccer Complex Friday for a 7 p.m. contest against Vanderbilt (1-0).

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