Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State won in come-from-behind fashion once again Sunday as the No. 6 Cowgirls earned their first-ever berth in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship Sweet 16 with a 2-1 win over Oregon State in front of over 1,400 fans at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.

With the win, the Cowgirls improved to 19-3-2 on the season and set a school record for single-season wins. Oklahoma State also snapped a four-year streak of having its season end in the second round of the NCAA tourney.

With the win, Oklahoma State, a No. 3 national seed, advances to the round of 16 and will host Duke later this week in Stillwater (day and time TBA). The Blue Devils won a penalty kick shootout over No. 2 national seed Florida on Sunday.

"It means so much for this program," OSU head coach Colin Carmichael said of advancing to the Sweet 16. "We've been so close in the past. We've kind of complained about not being at home and losing so many close games on the road. You can see how hard it was for (Oregon State) to hold the lead. We were just so thankful we got to play in front of our fans. I truly believe that did make a little bit of difference. It maybe gives you that little 10 percent extra that you need. Hopefully, we'll carry that to next week.

"We're excited to be in the Sweet 16. It's a program first, and 19 wins is the most in school history. These kids deserve all the credit. They're never down-and-out. You can never count them out, even when they go behind. It's a real pleasure to work with them everyday."

Oklahoma State needed a pair of second-half goals to get a victory Sunday.

The Beavers (16-4-1) netted a goal with just five seconds remaining in the opening half when Chelsea Buckland blasted a shot from 30-yards out with her left foot that sailed passed a leaping AD Franch and into the far upper post.

"That's how we planned it (laughter)," said Carmichael, whose squad has faced one-goal deficits in each of its last four matches. "We talked about starting the game well, and in fairness, I thought we did start very, very well. We just switched up for a split second just before the half. If they hadn't gotten that goal right before the end of the half, I'd have been very pleased with the first-half performance."

Oklahoma State trailed for the first 28 minutes of the final half, but with 73:19 remaining, the Cowgirls would finally get the equalizer.

Sarah Brown made a deep throw in from the far sideline that Katie Richardson headed to her right, where the ball found Elizabeth DeLozier. And DeLozier delivered from seven-yards out, booting the ball past Oregon State goalie Colleen Boyd for her second goal of the season.

"I give all the credit to Sarah Brown," DeLozier said. "She made an amazing throw, and I just got on the end of it and got us a goal. It was a team effort for sure."

The Cowgirls would record the game winner in the 82nd minute. After Krista Lopez drilled a shot that Boyd saved but was unable to grab, Carson Michalowski was there for the putback to put Oklahoma State on top, 2-1.

Oklahoma State's victory was not secured until Franch made a pair of diving saves in the last 3:02, saving a shot by Courtney Wetzel and a header by Buckhead with just six seconds remaining to seal the win and set off a Cowgirl celebration.

"Our team motto this year has been `Passion'," Michalowski said. "We just have to work for each other. When we go down like that, we talk to each other. We try not to get frustrated. You just go out there and give it your all because it could be your last game and you don't want it to be. So you just have to throw your heart into it."

Oklahoma State head coach Colin Carmichael
On coming from behind again
"That's how we planned it (laughter). We talked about starting the game well, and in fairness, I thought we did start very, very well. We just switched up for a split second just before the half. If they hadn't gotten that goal right before the end of the half, I'd have been very pleased with the first-half performance."

On Oregon State
"We knew Oregon State was good. They went 7-2 in the Pac-10, which arguably might be the best conference for soccer in the country. We knew they were quality, knew they were a great team. I think it's even a bigger tribute to our kids to be able to come back from 1-0 down against a team that good and win was just tremendous.
"The fans played a big role as well. They gave our kids that extra energy to help us get it done."

On advancing to the Sweet 16
"It means so much for this program. We've been so close in the past. We've kind of complained about not being at home and losing so many close games on the road. You can see how hard it was for (Oregon State) to hold the lead. We were just so thankful we got to play in front of our fans. I truly believe that did make a little bit of difference. It maybe gives you that little 10 percent extra that you need. Hopefully, we'll carry that to next week.
"We're excited to be in the Sweet 16. It's a program first, and the 19 wins is the most in school history. These kids deserve all the credit. They're never down-and-out. You can never count them out, even when they go behind. It's a real pleasure to work with them everyday."

Oklahoma State junior midfielder Elizabeth DeLozier
On her goal
"I give all the credit to Sarah Brown. She made an amazing throw, and I just got on the end of it and got us a goal. It was a team effort for sure."

On advancing to the Sweet 16
"I'm so proud of the team. We've been working for this since the beginning of the season. And now we're hosting (Sweet 16). What could be better than that?!"

Oklahoma State freshman midfielder Taylor Mathews
On contributing as a freshman
"It's an honor to play with these girls. They're all so good. I look up to each and every one of them both on-and-off the field. They're my best friends, and I just go out and play for them. We play as a team and play together."

Oklahoma State junior defender Carson Michalowski
On the heart of the Cowgirls
"Our team motto this year has been passion. We just have to work for each other. When we go down like that, we talk to each other. We try not to get frustrated. You just go out there and give it your all because it could be your last game and you don't want it to be so you just have to throw your heart into it."