STILLWATER, Okla. - The Wildcats took the field against one of the top-rated teams in the nation on Sunday morning, and went toe-to-toe with their highly-regarded opponent.
Only an unlucky redirection of a 20-yard free kick proved to be the difference between the Weber State University women's soccer team and No. 5 ranked Oklahoma State, with the Cowgirls claiming the 1-0 result at Cowgirl Stadium.
"After the first 15 minutes of the Tulsa game (on Friday), we played very well," Weber State coach Tim Crompton said. "Today's game against Oklahoma State was a good soccer game, and it's disappointed that we didn't do more to come out on top in the end.
"The girls are not happy we didn't win the game, but they have their feet under them now and are moving forward as expected."
The lone goal of the match came in the 64th minute after a Wildcat foul just outside the box on the left angle, with OSU's George Christie scoring on a redirected header deep in the box after Taylor Mathews' free kick.
Weber State immediately went hunting for the equalizer, with freshman midfielder Chansi Crompton forcing Oklahoma State goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to make a save less than a minute later. The Wildcats had a corner kick, along with another pair of shots, and plenty of quality passing and combination work in the attacking third over the next 15 minutes.
The Cowgirls opened the match with the better of possession and play early, but the advantage didn't last long as the Wildcats gradually brought themselves into the mix of things. Senior forward Ari Aki had Weber State's first shot of the match in the 21st minute, with the Wildcats attack opening up over the next 20 minutes as WSU recorded four shots, all of which came inside the OSU box.
Weber State's defense shined for much the match, slowing down Oklahoma State's attack. The Cowgirls managed to get off 17 shots, but only a couple forced Wildcat goalkeeper Ryann Waldman to make anything more than a routine save.
Waldman's best save came in the dying seconds of the first half after a OSU corner kick was redirected, with the junior making a diving stop on the goal line to preserve the 0-0 scoreline at halftime.
Defenders Brecken Holbrook and Abbey Kennedy each went the full 90, coming up with some quality plays to thwart the Oklahoma State offense. Freshman defender Shaylee Petersen, who came on as an injury substitution in the 19th minute and finished the match, also had some bright moments, both defensively and in creating linking plays with the midfield.
"We will take the extra rest this week and get some players healthy and back on the field," Crompton said. "That will be an important part of our preparation for this weekend's game against Wyoming."
Weber State will make its 2012 home debut on Sunday, Aug. 26, against the University of Wyoming. Kickoff is at Noon at Wildcat Soccer Field, and admission is free.