The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Women’s soccer falls to OSU 3-0 in season opener

Mustangs struggle to move the ball accross the midfield in the first half
 Womens soccer falls to OSU 3-0 in season opener
Stuart Palley
Women’s soccer falls to OSU 3-0 in season opener

Women’s soccer falls to OSU 3-0 in season opener (Stuart Palley)

SMU was shut out in its season opener 3-0 by Oklahoma State Saturday night at Westcott Field.

Kicking off their season against the No. 23 Cowgirls, the Mustangs struggled to get the ball past midfield in the first half and surrendered two goals. That would be all OSU needed to give them their first regular season win.

SMU goalkeeper Ashley Gunter let the first goal slide past her in the 13th minute when OSU’s Kyndall Treadwell kicked a shot inside the left post from a pass by teammate Allyson Leggett.

“We lost to ourselves today,” said head coach Brent Erwin. “We’re good. We’re so young. We had seven freshmen on the field at one point tonight. We have to use these games as learning opportunities.”

SMU’s offense struggled to get the ball away from the Cowgirls, and as a result was unsuccessful in creating much offensive activty. This led to a second OSU goal by Katie Richardson in the 34th minute. The Mustangs had a scoring chance with a shot on goal by freshman Logan May with just over five minutes remaining, but the ball sailed over the top of the net, leaving the Mustangs empty handed at the end of the first half.

The Mustangs struggled to keep the ball out of SMU territory, allowing the Cowgirls to outshoot the Mustangs 11-1 by halftime. SMU’s Gunter had six saves in the first half. OSU goalie, Erin Stigler, had zero.

“They came out pretty hard right away,” said Gunter. “Those are the kind of games I like to be in as a goalkeeper where I get to make an impact and help my team. For tonight, we didn’t come out too well in the first half . . . It was a good learning experience for us, and I think we’ll get better.”

In the second half, SMU’s offense stepped up to the challenge of the Cowgirls’ persistent defense, but could not sneak a ball past OSU’s Stigler. SMU sophomore forward Sarah Benchaita opened the second half with a shot on goal, but the ball was deflected by Stigler.

“Coming out you’re always going to be nervous at home games, especially with the huge crowd. Every game, you have to take it separately, and say, “Tonight I’m going to calm down, I’m going to play my game,” said Benchaita. “We may not be ranked No.23, but we have the talent. It’s just a matter of believing in yourself.”

The Cowgirls secured their win with another goal in the 67th minute, giving them a 3-0 advantage when OSU leading scorer Siera Strawser kicked a pass from teammate Kasey Langdon just inside the right crossbar.

SMU senior defender Carly Philips had back to back shots on goal with a header just over the top crossbar, followed by a second header deflected off Stigler’s hands.

“They’re the No. 23 team in the country, and we were on them the whole way in the second half with seven freshmen on the field,” said Erwin. “We’re going to get better, and we’re going to develop.”

May closed out the game for the Mustangs with a final shot on goal in the last five minutes. SMU out shot OSU in the second half 5-4, but it was not enough to defeat their first opponent.

“For tonight, we didn’t come out too well in the first half, but we were a lot better in the second half,” said Gunter. “[The freshmen] played really well, and they all made a huge impact. I think it was a good first game for them.”

Freshmen midfielder Devon Herrman greatly influenced the Mustangs’ performance. Beginning her college career against a nationally ranked team, Herrman, while not recording any shots, never wavered in her effort against the Cowgirls.

“Being a freshmen, it was pretty nerve wrecking just preparing for the game,” explained Herrman. “You know you’re going against a great team that is nationally ranked, so everyone kind of has their own pre-game to get themselves ready so I just came out here and did the best I could, and just really focused and worked really hard.”

OSU opened their season with a win, while SMU falls to 0-1 after an exhibition win last weekend over Baylor.

“We play so many amazing teams before conference starts. Win or lose that’s going to be such a great experience because going into conference we’re going to have faced some of the best teams in the country, and that’s going to be to our advantage,” said Herrman. “We’re going to learn from them, and take one game at a time, and we’re going to get better every game.”

With one nationally ranked team already off their schedule, the Mustangs will face defending NCAA champion Southern California, and semi-finalist Notre Dame next month. Conference USA champion Memphis will visit Westcott Field in October.

The Mustangs will host Ole Miss on Friday night at Westcott Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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