Oklahoma State's record-setting season came to an end Friday in the Elite Eight as Stanford edged the Cowgirls 2-1 in an overtime heartbreaker.
The Cardinal netted the golden goal in the 93rd minute to give the top-ranked team the one point win.
"We're disappointed right now, but we'll look back on it and see what a wonderful season we had," said OSU head coach Colin Carmichael said. "To be seeded as a No. 2-seed opposite Stanford was always going to be very difficult – I thought that should be a semifinal or a final game. But to come to their home field and play them into overtime was quite an accomplishment for us.
The loss marked the second-straight year the Cowgirls fell one win short of making their first-ever NCAA College Cup appearance.
OSU finishes the season with a 22-2-2 record, the best mark in program history.
The Cardinal dominated the offensive attack in the opening half, out shooting OSU by a 14-1 margin, but goalie AD Franch made four saves to keep Stanford off the scoreboard.
"The first half, we were a little bit timid," said Carmichael. "Stanford really took the game to us, and the shots on goal showed that they dominated the first half. We defended well, but we didn't have enough belief going forward. The second half, we turned it around a little bit, became very competitive and as the game wore on late, we were able to put Stanford under a little bit more pressure and got a goal".
Early in the second half, the Cardinals finally broke through. In the 52nd minute, Kristy Zurmuhlen took a pass from Mariah Nogueira, turned on OSU defender Colleen Dougherty and sent a low shot to the far post from 15-yards out.
OSU nearly got the equalizer just over a minute later off a corner kick. Stanford tried to clear the ball, but it ricocheted off a Cowgirl and headed towards the post. However, a Cardinal defender cleared the ball off the line to keep the score at 1-0.
The Cowgirls had another attempt off a corner kick at the 58:23 mark, but Kelley's shot was saved by Stanford goalie Emily Oliver.
OSU would finally get the equalizer in the 69th minute. Krista Lopez sent a pass to a streaking Sarah Brown, who blasted a left-footed shot top shelf from 25-yards out to tie the score at 1-1. The Cowgirls' goal was the first allowed by Stanford in its last six games.
"I just hit it as hard as I could, and it went in – it's one of the best feelings I've ever had," said Sarah Brown, a senior whose goal was her sixth of the season.
Less than three minutes into overtime Stanford's Lindsay Taylor notched the game-winning goal.
Stanford outshot the Cowgirls 21-3 in the contest recorded four shots during that stretch, but Franch recorded six saves in the game.
Stanford (23-0-1) will be making its fourth-straight College Cup appearance playing No. 1 Florida State in the Final Four.