In the first-ever game at Neal Patterson Stadium, Oklahoma State bested Bedlam-rival Oklahoma, 2-1, in front of an OSU women's soccer record crowd of 4,122 fans Sunday night.
The Cowgirls used first-half goals from Kim Rodriguez and Elena Brynjarsdóttir to secure the win in a match that also marked their 2018 season opener. The crowd of 4,122 far surpassed OSU's previous record crowd of 2,660 at an NCAA Women's Soccer Championship quarterfinals game at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex on Nov. 26, 2010.
"We wanted to win because it was our home opener, because it was Bedlam, because it was an important game, but we wanted to win for Neal (Patterson) and his family and all the people who came here," said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael. "It was very, very important – our kids said that right before the game. We weren't just playing for ourselves, we were playing for something greater.
"I was really happy we got to do that for everybody that came out. It was just a special, special night – it's a night I'll never forget.
In a pre-match ceremony, OSU fans and both teams, along with the family and friends of the stadium's major benefactor, the late Neal Patterson, gathered to celebrate the man who made OSU's new facility a reality.
Patterson was an OSU alum who co-founded the Cerner Corporation, the world's largest publicly traded health information technology company, and served as CEO of the multi-billion dollar company until his death in July 2017.
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"What a special night. The crowd was amazing, it was a great game," Colin Carmichael said. "I've got to tip my hat to the OU players and staff. I've always have a ton of respect for Matt (Potter) and his staff and his kids, and the way they acted and supported our dedication tonight was fantastic – hats off to them. It was a tough game – it was Bedlam, a great atmosphere.
"We brought (our players) in and said we've got to feed off the adrenaline. A couple of our kids were crying at the dedication, it was pretty emotional, but we had to focus on the game. Early on, our kids did a great job of coming out and setting the tone and playing at a high tempo."
OSU captured momentum from the raucous crowd early on to take control of the scoreboard.
In the 15th minute, the Sooners (0-2-0) were whistled for a foul in the box, and Rodriguez stepped up to bury the penalty kick to put OSU up 1-0.
The Cowgirls extended their lead to 2-0 at the 28:07 mark when Brynjarsdóttir found the back of the net in her first collegiate game. After her initial shot was saved by OU goalie McKinley Krone, Brynjarsdóttir collected the rebound and sent it in to double the lead.
OSU held the two-goal lead until the 88th minute when the Sooners made things interesting after Kaylee Dao collected a loose ball and delivered a shot to the far post to make the score 2-1.
The Cowgirls return to action Friday when they host Lamar at 7 p.m.