STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State enjoyed some home field advantage in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but it turns out it didn't really need it.
The Cowgirls cruised past Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Friday 9-1 to advance to the second round of the tourney for the sixth-straight season.
OSU led just 2-1 at halftime, but exploded for seven goals in the second half, including three in the first 6:35 after the break.
Coach Colin Carmichael said he didn't think his team was playing with the right intensity in the first half.
"Arkansas-Pine Bluff came out very, very fired up and played really well in the first half; you have to give them a lot of credit," he said. "But we felt like we weren't playing with the right intensity, the right drive and the right focus. We addressed that at halftime, and obviously it got a little bit better in the second half."
The Cowgirls tied a school record with their 20th win of the season (they are 20-1-2) and tied for the fifth-most goal in a single game. It was the highest goal total since 2006.
Several Cowgirls put up some big numbers, including sophomore Taylor Mathews, who picked up two goals and three assists.
Elizabeth DeLozier and Annika Niemeier also had two goals apiece.
"In the second half, Taylor ran the show - she played in the center-mid and got on the ball and made things happen for us," Carmichael said. "That's what Taylor can do when she's on her game. She's a very creative player who can score goals and set up goals."
Oklahoma State will play again on Friday, taking on the winner of the Notre Dame – Illinois game. OSU's next game is set for 5 p.m. in Stillwater.