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OSU Opens NCAA Soccer Tournament Saturday Against Missouri State



Stillwater is one of the first hosts of this year’s NCAA Tournament, and the Oklahoma State soccer team is letting student go watch for free.


Admission will probably be the only free item on the agenda Saturday. The Cowgirls drew Missouri State in the first round somewhat controversially after winning the Big 12 regular season crown and their opening game of the conference tournament.

Missouri State isn’t great, but it won its conference tournament. The Bearcats haven’t lost since the first day of October, and OSU doesn’t have the best track record in the tournament. The Cowgirls haven’t won an NCAA Tournament game since this year’s kindergarteners were born in 2011. Since that season, OSU is 0-2 in first-round games, including a 3-1 loss against Colorado last season. That game was on the road, so coach Colin Carmichael said having the game in Stillwater will help, no doubt.

“It doesn’t guarantee a victory or anything like that, but it gives you that little bonus of staying home, not traveling, not being on the airplanes and buses, playing in front of your friends and family,” Carmichael said. “It just gives our kids that little extra incentive.”

OSU had a somewhat tumultuous end to its Big 12 tournament. After beating Texas on the final day of the regular season to win their first conference title since 2011, the Cowgirls were bounced in the second round of the postseason tourney with a 3-0 loss to Baylor, which went on to win the championship.

Carmichael noted that because there are only 64 teams left and 280 others who aren’t playing anymore, every game is going to be a tough one. But history isn’t defining this group, he said.

“From our standpoint for this season, we’re not worried so much about what’s happened in the past,” he told OSU. “We’re more focused on us, as we have been all season.”

Good news is Missouri State hasn’t been great on the road in non-conference games this season, going 2-3, including a 2-1 loss against the only Power Five team it has played this season, Mississippi State.

The Bearcats have only scored 27 goals this season, compared to the Cowgirls’ 43, and the goals allowed mark is also in OSU’s favor at 27-17. Missouri State does have a six-time goal scorer, but the Cowgirls have that, too, and another at eight in Haley Woodard.

This game should be an Oklahoma State win, despite MSU’s conference tournament title in its back pocket. But it’s the tournament so who knows what will happen. Carmichael did say the he’s less worried about changing to defeat the opponent and more worried about just doing what Oklahoma State does well.

“We’ll talk a little bit about Missouri State and what they bring to the table, but for us, it’s all about making sure that we are as prepared as we can be to play the game,” Carmichael noted.

Kick is at noon on Saturday.


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