After she faked a pair of Oklahoma State defenders on the dribble and got past them to direct passes for assists on goals by Lisa Sliwinski and Vic Hoffman in the match's opening 12 minutes, Larsen kept the ball herself for the third Baylor goal a scant three minutes later. Her footwork sent another Cowgirls defender to the ground, and Larsen cut left and blasted home a shot of about 20 yards left-footed past experienced OSU goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. It was 3-0 not even 16 minutes into the game.
"I didn't even know it was that fast," Larsen said. "But it was all about finishing. You can be happy to be up 3-0, but it what you've done at the end that counts."
After Larsen's fireworks finally subsided, No. 2 Baylor (15-1-4) was set to advance to the semifinals against third-seeded Texas Tech (15-4-1), which defeated Kansas 2-0 also on Wednesday. That match is set for Friday at 8 p.m. The Bears won the regular-season contest in double overtime at Lubbock on October 5.
No. 7 Oklahoma State (11-6-3) had played in the championship game three-straight seasons and had won two of them.
The Cowgirls were doomed by Larsen early, and Baylor got continued scoreless work in the goal from keeper Michelle Kloss for her ninth shutout of the season. A senior from Mequon, Wis., Larsen is a second-team All-Big 12 selection this season. The goal was her 10th of the season and she's at seven assists this year, tops in both categories on the Bears club.
"She's a special player," Cowgirls coach Colin Carmichael said. "We knew coming in she would be a handful. She was a handful at our place earlier this year."
Her first assist that ended in Sliwinski's sliding shot at the six-yard box was good for Sliwinski's seventh goal in the past 10 games.
To go up 2-0, Larsen made a cut left with the ball and still ran past the OSU defense before her centering pass ended up on Hoffman's head and into the goal.
"We needed to start the game well, and the opposite happened," Carmichael said. "After that, we just tried to chip away."