In an aggressive, defense-focused game, Kylie Doniak led the Longhorns to the team’s biggest wins of the season against No. 5 Oklahoma State and lifted the Longhorns to a tie for fourth place in the Big 12.
Throughout the game, OSU continually attempted to send through balls to Krista Lopez – the second leading goal scorer in the Big 12 this year.
In the 23rd minute, OSU had a close opportunity when a corner kick by Katie Richardson led to a scramble in the box and a shot by Lopez which required a save on the line from junior Lucy Keith.
Later in the half, Keith sent a long ball to Stacy Ann Smith, who used her speed to her advantage and cut across two defenders in the penalty box, but it was saved by goalie Adrianna Franch.
“[Our goal in the second half was] Getting the ball on the ground, passing it and making them play our game,” Doniak said. “It helped having the wind in the second half.”
Both Sophie Campise and Keith missed opportunities in the beginning of the second half.
The crowd came alive in the 55th minute when Kristen Birkhold took a shot from outside the box that went to the lower left corner, but was saved by Franch.
Texas took the lead in the 64th minute when Birkhold’s back-post cross found its way to Doniak and she headed the ball into the net.
“At halftime I just told Burkey [Birkhold] ‘get it down the sideline and beat that girl and get those crosses.’ She always serves perfect crosses,” Doniak said.
The Longhorns had a final opportunity in the 87th minute when Lucy Keith sent a long ball to unmarked Gabby Zarnegar but goalie Franch made the diving save.
Although the win is huge for the team, Lucy Keith said the joy will be short-lived because the team plays Oklahoma on Sunday.
“You can’t get too comfortable,” Keith said.
Head coach Chris Petrucelli said the team needs to utilize its front players more.
“We worked a lot on trying to get balls into our front players and playing off of them,” Keith said. “We didn’t have a lot of success with that in the first half.”
During halftime, he talked about the team getting the ball wide and behind the OSU defense.
“Certainly with the wind we were able to do that a little bit more in the second half,” Keith said. “The goal came off of us getting the ball behind them.”
Petrucelli also said although the team left the stadium with a win, the work is not over.
“We are going to have to do a little bit better going forward,” said Petrucelli. “We are going to have to create a few more chances than we did tonight.”