STILLWATER — As is tradition, the Cowgirl soccer team kicked off the 2023 school year on Thursday night and did so in dominant fashion.
Oklahoma State rolled past Stephen F. Austin 4-0 at Neal Patterson Stadium to advance to 1-0 on the year.
Colin Carmichael has a young team this season. Three freshmen started for the Cowgirls. Lauden Wilson was one of those freshmen starters, but she didn’t look like a freshman Thursday.
After scoring in OSU’s exhibition win against Missouri on Saturday, Wilson set up the Cowgirls’ first goal in the 13th minute Thursday. Running to her right, Wilson sliced a through-ball against the grain to Hannah Chance on the left wing. One-on-one with the keeper, Chance netted the Cowgirls’ first official goal of the season.
“Well, I heard Hannah yelling my name, so I was like, ‘Well, I better get it across there,’” Wilson said. “And then when the defender almost got it, I was like, ‘Ooh,’ but Hannah got there. She scored like she always does, so just happy for her.”
Wilson made it 2-0 in the 50th minute when she got behind the Stephen F. Austin defense and coolly slotted her first career goal home to the keeper’s right.
Out of Osawatomie, Kansas, Wilson comes to OSU as a four-star recruit in the 2023 class, listed as the No. 73 player in the country.
“Phenomenal,” said Carmichael of Wilson’s performance. “Great player. First half, again, she’s kind of getting up to the speed of the college game. You could see she got dispossessed a few times, but she has moments like the one she made for the goal and some of the things she does, just a really special player. Can’t wait for the next four years for that kid.”
The Cowgirls scored a goal Wilson wasn’t involved with in the 59th minute when Megan Haines crossed a ball that Adelhia Ghonda slotted home, and OSU made it 4-0 in the 63rd minute when Logan Heausler got her head on an Alex Morris cross that looped over the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand.
OSU hits the road for a game against Missouri State at 1 p.m. Sunday before returning to Neal Patterson Stadium for a game against Florida Atlantic next Thursday and Little Rock on Aug. 27.
“We love playing here,” Carmichael said. “To me, it’s the No. 1 college soccer stadium in the country for women’s soccer. When you get 500, 600, 700 people in here, it feels like there’s 1,200 in it. Those guys down in the student section were great. It’s just an awesome place to play and compete.”