STILLWATER -- Colin Carmichael said afterwards that forward Olyvia Dowell did not have her best game against West Virginia. That's okay because when she needed to be at her best the Cowgirl sophomore forward was golden as in scoring the golden goal in the second overtime with 28 seconds left and No. 6 Oklahoma State defeated No. 4 West Virginia to stay unbeaten at 3-0 and Oklahoma State is all alone in first place in the Big 12 and do a move up in the national polls.
"Olyvia didn't play her best all night, but big-time players do big-time things to win games and Olyvia is a big-time player," Carmichael said. "Us coaches were yelling 'shoot' but she knew what she was doing and she was very composed and made the play."
What Dowell was doing was after getting the ball kicked back to her at the top of the 18, she worked the ball between feet and finally loosened up the West Virginia defender on top of her to get a better angle and kicked it to the right post away from Mountaineers goalkeeper Maddie Murphy. The clock ran out as the Cowgirls celebrated and West Virginia players dejected, walked off the pitch.
It truly was a battle worthy of top 10 ranked teams as both came in 2-0 on the season having beaten the same two teams in this COVID-19 conference only schedule with wins over Kansas State and Iowa State in opposite weeks.
For the Cowgirls, who beat West Virginia in Morgantown last season, this was their first win over the Mountaineers in Stillwater.
"They are not making it easy on the coaches," Carmichael said of his team. "The resiliency that they played with was fantastic and I thought both teams played really well and put on a teriffic show."
The first half was a defensive exhibition with both back lines making sure they smothered any players with the ball deep on either end. West Virginia outshot the Cowgirls in the first 45 minutes six-to-three, but the Cowgirls shots were all on goal to only two of the Mountaineers shots.
At the 39:39 mark in the second half, Hannay Webb started the procession to the Cowgirls first goal as she redirected the ball from the West Virginia offensive end with a long kick to the speedy Gabriella Coleman who burst past the lone Mountaineer defender and gracefully got the ball on her left boot and put it across to the back post and inside of it for the first goal.
West Virginia went aggressive from that point on and with 14:50 left in regulation the Cowgirls were called for a foul at the top of the 18. West Virginia senior Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel took the free kick and put it over the wall of Cowgirls where goalkeeper Emily Plotz tapped it up and it glanced the crossbar and then came down. As Plotz tried to control it, West Virginia's Juliana Lynch applied pressure, perhaps interference and the ball went inside the post after glancing off Plotz. There was no call and the match was tied 1-1.
Both teams played very hard and it stayed that way, tied until the final seconds of the second sudden victory overtime when Dowell danced her way with fancy footwork to the winning goal.
Oklahoma State will now hit the road next week for a match with Baylor next Friday at 7 p.m. in Waco, Texas.