CLEMSON, SC – The Oklahoma State Cowgirls scored goals in each half to defeat the UNC Greensboro Spartans 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship at the historic Riggs Field.
The two teams played an even, very physical first half. Both UNCG and OSU had good looks on goal throughout. Spartan keeper Katherine Ryan made an excellent one handed save at the 26:20 minute mark. Katie Lacey sent a Cowgirl corner kick to the top of the net but Ryan was there for the save. However, the Cowgirls grabbed the lead at the 37:33 minute mark when Katie Lacey corralled a free kick pass from Niccole Grimaldi in the box. Lacey found the open Sasa Jackson who put it past Ryan. The Cowgirls held on to their 1-0 lead going into the break.
The Spartans and Cowgirls went back and forth in an evenly played second stanza. However, OSU’s Yolanda Odenyo scored the cushion goal for the Cowgirls in the 80th minute. Odenyo intercepted a Spartan clear and beat Ryan in a one on one situation for her fifth goal of the year. UNCG had a couple of chances towards the end to get the Spartans on the board but Cowgirl keeper Erin Stigler prevented the opportunities.
“It was a very close game that could have gone either way. The two teams played evenly with each other throughout the entire match,” stated head coach Eddie Radwanski.
Oklahoma State held the slim 16-13 shot advantage in the match that saw the two teams battling back and forth for possession. Ryan had another big night; the junior tallied eight saves for the Spartans. She finishes the season with 108 saves on the year, which is the second best save record in a season for the Spartans.
“It was a close game and we played very well. Katherine Ryan put up another big game for us,” said Radwanski. “I’m very proud how we played a top-10 team like Oklahoma State. We kept competing and moving the ball and I am very pleased with how we contended with a good team like Oklahoma State.”
The loss snaps the Spartans' 10-game winning streak as UNCG finishes the season 13-8-2. UNCG captured the Southern Conference regular season title as well as the SoCon tournament crown after finishing conference play 9-0-1. The Spartans started out the year 1-7-1 but concluded the season with a 14-game unbeaten streak prior to tonight.
“We had one of the toughest early schedules in the country and despite starting out 1-7-1, these girls showed their strength by continuing to play hard. I am very proud of these girls and of our seniors. The seniors really show the spirit of UNCG soccer and I am pleased with how the season went.”
Goals by period 1
UNC Greensboro...... 0 0 - 0
Oklahoma State...... 1 1 - 2
SCORING SUMMARY: OSU Jackson (5) (Grimaldi;Lacey), 37:33; OSU Odenyo (5) (unassisted), 79:45. Shots: UNC Greensboro 13, Oklahoma State 16. Saves: UNC Greensboro 8 (Ryan 8), Oklahoma State 3 (Stigler 3). Corner Kicks: UNC Greensboro 3, Oklahoma State 9. Fouls: UNC Greensboro 10, Oklahoma State 13.
- UNCG -