Cowgirls Beat Duke To Reach Elite Eight
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State’s record-setting season continued Friday night as the No. 6 Cowgirls advanced to the Elite Eight of the Women’s Soccer Championship with a 2-0 win over Duke in front of 1,943 fans at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
Making its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance, the Cowgirls were in control throughout as they improved to 20-3-2 on the season and advanced to next week’s quarterfinals, where they’ll face the North Carolina-Notre Dame winner. Those two teams square off Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Megan Marchesano and Krista Lopez each recorded goals against the Blue Devils (11-8-4), while AD Franch notched her ninth shutout of the season as extended its unbeaten streak to seven and improved to 12-0-0 on its home field this season.
“It’s a season of firsts for us,” said head coach Colin Carmichael. “Being in the Sweet 16 was great, but we didn’t want to be finished yet. Duke is a nationally known program that has been in the Sweet 16 three of the last four years, and if you go back further in their history, they’re one of the elite programs in the country. For us to beat them is a great achievement for our team and our program.”
had several scoring chances early as Kyndall Treadwell hit the crossbar with a shot just over five minutes in, and Lopez fired one that sailed just over the bar in the 26th minute.
In the 37th minute, the Cowgirls would convert one of those chances when Marchesano collected a pass from Lopez, took a couple of touches and blasted a shot from 15-yards out to the upper post that Duke goalie Tara Campbell had no chance of saving.
“Krista played me a perfect ball right where I needed it, and I saw which way (the goalie) was going so I just knocked it the other way,” Marchesano said.
With the goal, snapped a four-match streak of falling behind by a 1-0 margin.
“We talked about that; we certainly didn’t want to go behind against such a good team because we knew that would make things a lot more difficult,” Carmichael said. “The emphasis was to really focus in the first half and not go behind.”
would double its lead in the 62nd minute when Lopez took a perfect cross from Kristen Kelley and delivered her 15th goal of the season. That total is tied for the second highest in a single season in school history and is just one shy of Yolanda Odenyo’s record of 16 in 2008.
With a comfortable 2-0 lead, it was Franch and the defense withstanding a furious Duke attack down the stretch.
Franch made just two saves on the night but was highly disruptive to the Blue Devils’ attack as she recorded her 20th career shutout, just one shy of OSU’s all-time record.