Oklahoma State Cowgirls
Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
Oklahoma State Team Page
It took a long time before Oklahoma State felt the agony of defeat in 2011. The Cowgirls won their first 15 games and went all the way through the regular season without losing. In that stretch they tied two conference games and entered the Big 12 conference tournament with an undefeated record. It was not until November 6th during the Big 12 tournament final that the Cowgirls actually lost a game. OSU then went on to the Elite Eight and gave Stanford, arguably, their toughest game en route to a national title. The Cowgirls took the Cardinal into overtime but fell 2-1. It was the only game all season that the Cowgirls gave up more than one goal.
2011 Record: 22-2-2, 6-0-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Colin Carmichael
It is that amazing defense and the goalkeeping of Adrianna Franch that will again keep Oklahoma State near the top of the national rankings. Franch has had an absolutely amazing career. A three-year starter so far, Franch has tallied 32 career shutouts. As a freshman she set freshman school records with 11 shutouts, a .843 save percentage and a 0.61 goals against average. Those numbers slipped slightly during her sophomore campaign, but she still ranked among the best in the nation. And then last season she ranked second in the nation, allowing 0.35 goals per game and third in the nation, saving 92 percent of the shots fired her way. She also tallied 12 shutouts in 2011 despite missing six games with an injury. The defense in front of her will be a little more inexperienced this season. Carson Michalowski will be the senior leader and Miriam Rhinehart gained plenty of experience as a freshman. However, Coach Colin Carmichael will have to rely on quite a few freshmen in the back. Fortunately, there is plenty of great talent headed to Stillwater that can play in the back, most notably, Delaney Kiely, Lauren Reyes and Kelsey Bass.
If this team has a weakness it will be early in the 2012 campaign while they have to replace quite a few impact players. Krista Lopez is gone after ranking second on the team with 24 points, scoring eight goals and dishing out eight assists. Sarah Brown was another versatile player who could score and set up her teammates. Annika Niemeier was an efficient scorer when she was on the field. Elizabeth DeLozier netted five goals during the 2011 campaign and Kyndall Treadwell added four. Colleen Doughery was a key piece of the defense and a very unselfish passer and Catherine Parish was an experienced defender as well. There will be a lot of new faces and it may take some time for Coach Carmichael to put all the pieces in the right place.
But for all the new faces, there are some familiar ones who will step up and keep playing great soccer. Oklahoma State never relied on just one or two players to put up all their points, so some departures here and there should not make a huge difference to a team that shares the ball so well. Taylor Mathews led the Cowgirls with nine goals last season as a sophomore and forward Megan Marchesano is an experienced senior who netted five goals and led the team with ten assists. Those two should be the leaders up front and two-year starter Kristen Kelley is ready to make a bigger impact in the midfield. But there are some younger players who will look to build off successful freshmen campaigns, most notably Abbey Akin and Kendra Boydstun. Oklahoma State will find a way to score enough goals and the offense could be even better than last year by November. And with one of the best players in the country between the posts, this is a team that has everything it needs to win another Big 12 title and make another exciting run in the tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Goals: Taylor Mathews, Junior, M/F, 9
Assists: Megan Marchesano, Senior, F, 10
Shots: Taylor Mathews, Junior, M/F, 71
Saves: Adrianna Franch, Senior, GK, 81
Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#48 Allie Stephenson
#75 Delaney Kiely
#85 Lauren Reyes
#92 Kelsey Bass