Okla St. dominates Ark.-Pine Bluff
Seven second-half goals lift Cowgirls to 20th victory of season
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State's offense erupted for seven second-half goals as the Cowgirls opened play in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship with a 9-1 rout of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Friday night at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
Six different Cowgirls scored as OSU tied a school record with its 20th win. Coach Colin Carmichael's squad is 20-1-2 on the season and advances to the second round of the NCAA tourney for the sixth consecutive year, where it will play the Notre Dame-Illinois winner Friday at 5 p.m. in Stillwater.
OSU went into halftime against the Golden Lions leading just 2-1, but the second 45 minutes was a different story as the Cowgirls scored three times in the first 6:35 after intermission and cruised to the win.
"We talked [at halftime] about that we weren't playing with the right intensity and came out with the wrong attitude," Carmichael said. "Arkansas-Pine Bluff came out very, very fired up and played really well in the first half; you have to give them a lot of credit. But we felt like we weren't playing with the right intensity, the right drive and the right focus. We addressed that at halftime, and obviously it got a little bit better in the second half.
"The second half was fantastic, it's what we hoped to do in the first. Pine-Bluff tired a little bit maybe, and it opened up a little more space for our team. We just were sharper, we were quicker and we played with more energy. We know next weekend we'll have to come out and play like we did in the second half."
OSU's nine goals tied for the fifth most in a single game in school history and were the most by a Cowgirl squad since 2006. OSU also racked up 44 shots in the match, which tied for the second-most in a game in program history.
Taylor Mathews led the scoring attack with two goals and three assists as the sophomore tied the single-game school record for assists. Elizabeth DeLozier and Annika Niemeier also had two goals apiece for the Cowgirls.
Mathews assisted on both of OSU's goals in the first half, and after a score by Melinda Mercado put the Cowgirls up 3-1 in the 51st minute, Mathews collected a pair of goals within a 42-second span to help put the game away.
The first goal came at the 51:35 mark when Mathews took a pass from Megan Marchesano and drilled a shot from 15-yards out that deflected off the post and bounced over the line. Less than a minute later, Mathews fired another shot into the back of the net to make the score 5-1.
"In the second half, Taylor ran the show -- she played in the center-mid and got on the ball and made things happen for us," Carmichael said. "That's what Taylor can do when she's on her game. She's a very creative player who can score goals and set up goals."