Oklahoma State had its six-game winning streak snapped Friday night as 16th-ranked Kansas defeated the Cowgirls, 2-1, in front of a record 1,186 fans at Rock Chalk Park.
With the loss, OSU fell to 6-7-0 overall and 1-1-0 in Big 12 Conference play heading into Sunday's match at No. 9 Texas Tech.
Statistically speaking, the Cowgirls outshot KU by a 9-5 margin and had a 4-3 advantage on corner kicks. OSU dominated the attack in the second half, holding the Jayhawks without a shot while recording four of their own, but head coach Colin Carmichael's squad was unable to capitalize on its opportunities.
“It's disappointing – I don't think we deserved to lose, but it'd be disrespectful to say we should have won because we didn't score our penalty and they did,” Carmichael said. “In the second half, (KU) didn't have a shot, and we created a couple of good looks on theirs.
“Again, disappointed, but when you come on the road and play a very good Kansas team and only play well for 45 minutes, that's the kind of thing that can happen.”
KU (12-1-0, 3-0-0) wasted little time taking an early lead on the scoreboard. Just 2:44 into the match, OSU's Courtney Dike was whistled for a foul in the box, giving the Jayhawks a penalty kick. Liana Salazar stepped up and drilled a low shot to the left of Cowgirl goalie Rosa Medina and into the back of the net for her Big 12-best ninth goal of the season and a 1-0 KU advantage.
It wouldn't take long for the Cowgirls to get the equalizer, however.
In the eighth minute, Allie Stephenson connected a pass to Dike, who sent the ball to Madison Mercado in the box. Mercado delivered a shot past KU goalie Kaitlyn Stroud, who had allowed just four goals all season, to knot the score at 1-1.
But once again, that score would not hold for long. In the 18th minute, KU's Ali Kimura outran Cowgirl defender Kelsey Bass to the ball and sent a pass to a streaking Ashley Williams, who drilled a shot from just inside the top of the 18-yard box into the back of the net to put the Jayhawks back on top, 2-1.
KU carried the 2-1 advantage into intermission, but the Cowgirls had a golden opportunity at another equalizer early in the second half.
In the 53rd minute, Stephenson was tripped up by a KU defender in the box, and OSU was awarded a penalty kick. Stephenson, who had converted two previous penalties this season, stepped up for the attempt, but her shot caromed off the crossbar and out of bounds and the Jayhawks held the lead.
“It's tough; they got their penalty and buried it, we got ours and missed, but it's not Allie's fault we didn't win the game – we missed other chances,” Carmichael said. “What hurt us was giving up the two goals in the first half. We just looked flat and a step off the pace a little bit and great credit to Kansas, they had a good first half. But in the second half, there was only one team in it as far as attacking and getting after it, and we certainly had the majority of the possession, the majority of chances and majority of play.
“Disappointed with the loss, but you can't feel sorry for yourself – you've got to bounce back for Sunday.”
OSU will kick off against the Red Raiders Sunday at 1 p.m.