Aug. 24, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. - Vanderbilt mounted a second-half charge against Oklahoma State, but freshman Cheyna Williams' first career goal was not enough and the Commodores fell to the fourth-ranked Cowgirls, 3-1.
The opening minutes of the match were played primarily in the center of the pitch, with neither team able to mount much offensive possession. The game's first shot did not come until the 18th minute--a chance by VU senior Dana Schwartz that sailed high.
The Cowgirls broke the scoreless tie in the 31st minute when Allie Stephenson scored her first goal of the season. Stephenson dribbled her way into the 18-yard box and beat Commodore keeper Alexa Levick to give OSU a 1-0 lead.
"In the first half we were not finding the feet of our wide forwards," VU Head Coach Derek Greene said. "That was our plan in the second half. We got them more involved and put more pressure on their side of the field."
The game opened up in the second half, and it was again Vanderbilt that mounted the first attack when Williams fired a shot over the crossbar in the 48th minute. Four minutes later, Oklahoma State mounted another attack. This time, Stephenson played through ball to Megan Marchesano--whose speed got her behind the Commodore defense--and Marchesano's first touch sent the ball low and just inside the far post to make the score 2-0 OSU.
In the 64th minute, the Commodores broke through when three freshmen combined for a goal. Andie Lakin collected a ball near midfield and dribbled through two OSU defenders toward the edge of the 18-yard box. Lakin's low pass from right to left was deflected by classmate Lina Granados before ending up at Williams' feet. The Hampton, Ga., native struck a bending ball toward the back post that OSU goalkeeper AD Franch deflected but could not keep out.
"Andie Lakin was fantastic for us at center mid," Greene said. "She earned her first start tonight because she was a calming presence for us when she came in against UT Martin, and we saw more of that tonight with her technical abilities."
Vanderbilt had a number of good chances in the game's final 15 minutes, but could not capitalize. After junior Abby Carr won a VU free kick from 22 yards out, freshman Jamie Kator struck a ball that was just deflected wide of OSU's far post. On the ensuing corner kick, sophomore Brittney Thomas had a chance for a header just outside the six yard box but could not re-direct the ball on frame.
With Vanderbilt pushing numbers ahead, OSU mounted one final counterattack in the 82nd minute. After a Stephenson shot was knocked wide by Levick, Cowgirl Makenzie Kahan scored on a header off the ensuing corner kick.
Oklahoma State held a 14-10 advantage in shots on the evening, though Williams' four shots led all players. Levick was credited with four assists on the night.
"I felt good about the way the team performed, especially to bounce back the way we did," Greene said. "Oklahoma State is a great team, so to come into their house with this big crowd, I'm please with our performance. But now we have to put this loss behind us and get ready for Oklahoma."
The Commodores next travel south from Stillwater to face Oklahoma in Norman on Sunday, Aug. 26. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT kick-off.