Oklahoma St. Advance In NCAA Tourney With 1-0 Win Over Fairfield

Siera Strawser's 13th goal of the season lifts the Cowgirls to a school record 18th win.

Nov. 14, 2008

Courtesy Oklahoma State Athletics

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Siera Strawser's goal in the 55th minute lifted No. 7 Oklahoma State to a 1-0 win over Fairfield in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship Friday at Yurcak Field.

With the victory, the Cowgirls advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season and set a school single-season record with their 18th win. OSU is now 18-1-3 on the season and will play the Rutgers Sunday at 11 a.m. (CST).

"Fairfield played with a lot of passion and a lot of enthusiasm and made it very difficult for us to play the way we wanted," said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. "A ton of credit to our kids for finding a way to win in what I would term an ugly game. But I was really proud of our team's second half and the way they dug deep and found a way to advance. We're just happy to be moving on."

The first half ended scoreless, with both teams failing to capitalize on opportunities. The Cowgirls held a slim 6-5 edge on shots, and both goalkeepers recorded a save.

OSU finally broke through and got on the scoreboard at the 54:32 mark. Yolanda Odenyo's pass into the box was tapped to a wide open Strawser by Kasey Langdon, and Strawser finished the play by blasting the ball into the back of the net for her 13th goal of the season.

Clinging to the 1-0 lead, the Cowgirls survived a furious rally by Fairfield (15-5-3) down the stretch. In the final 57 seconds, the Stags had two corner kicks, and the OSU defense blocked three Fairfield shots to secure the win and the shutout.

"We didn't really come out as hard as we could have, and in the second half we really picked it up and played a lot smarter and tougher," said OSU senior goalkeeper Erin Stigler, who recorded her 20th career shutout. "We kind of broke them down, and Siera got a great goal.

"We played great defense to keep that lead and get the shutout. (The last minute) was a little stressful, but we've been in that situation a few times. We did a great job acting as a cohesive unit - we were not gonna let that ball in no matter what happened."

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