CLEMSON, S.C. – Sasa Jackson scored her fifth goal of the season in the 38th minute and Oklahoma State beat UNC-Greensboro, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship at Riggs Field in Clemson, S.C.

Niccole Grimaldi took a free kick outside the penalty area and Katie Lacey sent the ball back across the box where Jackson was there to stick it in.

It was the first NCAA Tournament victory for Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls lost a first round game to Auburn in 2003.

“It is exciting,” co-head coach Colin Carmichael said. “Anytime you have a first like that, it is a big deal. The girls have worked hard all season and they deserve it.”

OSU improves to 17-3-2 on the season and advances to play the winner of Clemson and Vanderbilt in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CST). UNCG’s season ends at 13-8-2.

The Cowgirls had a couple of opportunities early in the first half. Jesyca Rosholt was one-on-one with the keeper and Katherine Ryan made a nice save. A few minutes later, Katie Lacey took a header shot and Ryan made a leaping save.

UNC-Greensboro’s best chance came early in the first half when Erin Stigler came off of her line and the ball deflected across an open net, but OSU cleared it out before the Spartans could get a foot on it.

Yolanda Odenyo scored a much needed insurance goal with 10 minutes left. Odenyo dribbled through the Greensboro defense and scored on a breakaway to give the Cowgirls a two-goal lead.

“Anytime you are up one nil, it is not safe,” Carmichael said. “Greensboro is a good team and they had a couple of opportunities to tie it. Yolanda stepped up when we needed her, and it was a great individual effort for the goal.”

Erin Stigler made her 14th straight start in goal and recorded her seventh shutout of the season, which ties the single season record with Kathrin Lehmann who had seven shutouts in 2003.

“Stigler has been a kid that has stepped up all year long,” Carmichael said. “She came into our program and has worked really, really hard. She deserves as much credit as anybody else.”

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