‘Headed in the right direction’: Cowgirl soccer builds confidence for season | Sports

Courtney Dike’s absence leaves a gap in the Oklahoma State soccer squad’s roster, but returners and newcomers are motivated to collectively fill the space.

After strenuous practice games against each other, the Cowgirls are enthused to finally face opponents who sport attire that isn’t orange and white. To start its fall season, the OSU soccer team will take on Missouri in an exhibition game 7 p.m. Saturday on the road.

OSU coach Colin Carmichael acknowledged the Cowgirls must adjust their playing style without Dike, a forward who earned a spot in the All-Big 12 First Team and a Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year title as a senior during the fall 2016 season.

“We’re all gonna have to chip in to make up for that production,” Carmichael said. “That’s gonna be an interesting part of the season to see who steps into that role and scores goals for us.”

Although OSU’s former top scorer graduated, Carmichael said a number of Cowgirls have what it takes to give the Cowgirls an edge on the field this season. He mentioned the potential in Anna Beffer, a senior midfielder; Jaci Jones, a sophomore midfielder and Marlo Zoller, a junior forward.

Carmichael said Jones and Laurene Tresfield, a senior defender, expanded their skills when they trained and played with Oklahoma City FC, a professional club in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, this summer. Jones’s and Tresfield’s progress was evident to Carmichael when they arrived in Stillwater for practice.

“For those two particularly, they come into preseason flying because they’ve been playing soccer all summer,” Carmichael said.

The Cowgirls’ roster features 14 players who started at least one game in 2016, including Jones and Tresfield.

Ten newcomers will join the Cowgirl veterans this season. Hannah Webb is only a freshman, but her boldness as a defender…

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