KANSAS CITY, Mo. –
Freshman Courtney Dike would not be denied. The first-year forward fought off a defender and made a move around the goalkeeper in the 54th minute to break a one-all tie and lift the sixth-seeded Cowgirls to a 2-1 triumph over third-seeded Texas in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship Wednesday afternoon at the Swope Soccer Village.
"I'm definitely a physical player, that's one of the assets I bring to the team," said Dike, whose team-leading 12th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner. "It was basically a great combination play, Madison made a great play to get the ball forward like she did. It was really big to get a goal right there, because it gave us momentum."
Oklahoma State used strong play at the other end of the field by a freshman to clinch the victory as goalkeeper Michela Ongaro, who was named to the Big 12's All-Newcomer team on Monday, made a career-high eight saves to keep Texas from finding the equalizer late in the match.
The Longhorns had the wind at their backs in the second half and peppered the OSU goalkeeper with 15 shots in the final 45-minute period, but had nothing to show for the effort.
"We expected an onslaught from Texas in the second half," said Oklahoma State head coach Colin Carmichael. "They're too good of a team to just sit back. We knew they were going to attack."
Texas sent numbers forward in the final minutes trying to tie the score, resulting in a barrage of shots from inside the box in the last 30 seconds. However, all four were knocked down by the Oklahoma State defense. The Longhorns outshot OSU, 15-6 in the second half.
The Longhorns appeared to tie the game in the 74th minute when freshman Jasmine Hart tipped in a loose ball in a scramble in front of the net. However head referee Jonathan Glover ruled that OSU goalkeeper Ongaro had possession of the ball before Hart had knocked it home, waiving off the tally.
Oklahoma State broke out on top in the 20th minute as freshman Krissi Killion's shot from just outside the 18 beat the goalkeeper to the short side. It was Killion's fourth goal of the season and first against a Big 12 opponent.
"It was really big to get the first goal," said Ongaro. "We've had to come from behind so many times this year, so getting off to that kind of a start gave us a lot of confidence."
Texas answered just over three minutes later with a header from sophomore Chantale Campbell that was lofted over the goalkeeper from the far side of the box. It was Campbell's fourth marker of the season.
Killion led the Oklahoma State offense with four shots, including three on frame, while Sharis Lachappelle paced the Longhorn attack with four scoring attempts.
Oklahoma State (8-5-6) advances to the semifinal round on Friday at 8 p.m., where it will face the winner of tonight's Texas Tech-TCU contest. Texas finishes the tournament with a 12-6-2 record.