Soccer team picks up first conference win

Anthony Mannino

After a disappointing loss to Baylor on Friday, Texas was able to adjust and pick up its first conference win against Iowa State.

The 7-3, 1-1 Longhorns beat the 6-5-1 Cyclones 2-1 on a hot day at Mike A. Myers stadium. Texas struggled early on to create any opportunities in the first half. It was an excellent run after two give-and-goes by left-back Amanda Lisberger in the 16th minute that jumpstarted the Longhorn offense.

The Longhorns were close to scoring again a minute later when Iowa State keeper Maddie Jobe saved Hannah Higgins’ shot. The first goal of the game was a beauty by Nina Frausing Pedersen. Off a 40-yard free kick, the midfielder from Denmark sent a teasing ball into the box that just missed a Longhorn head but bounced over the keeper into the net.

Texas continued to put pressure on the Iowa State defense with 13 shots in the first half. Defensively, the Longhorns did not let the Cyclones create any opportunities and gave up zero shots in the first half.

Starting off the second half, both teams looked tired — both had played two matches in three days. Even though each team would use numerous substitutes, fatigue was still a factor.

“These Sunday games are really difficult in our league because every game is hard,” said coach Chris Petrucelli. “We gave a lot of energy on Friday night.”

Picking up her second start of the season, Vanessa Ibewuike set up Texas’ first chance of the second half when she passed to Hannah Higgins, whose shot was blocked. It looked like Ibewuike could have scored herself after beating her defender, but she tried to be unselfish.

Later, Ibewuike’s generosity paid off when she set up Taylor Knaack to put the Longhorns up 2-0. After beating one tackle, Ibewuike used her speed to get to the end line and sent in a low hard cross that Knaack got her foot on to score her third goal of the season.

“All I had to do is put a body, a foot, a toe, anything on it, and it was going to go in,” Knaack said.

The Longhorns appeared to set to cruise control after the insurance goal, and the Cyclones made them pay. Iowa State scored their only goal of the game on a similar play to Knaack’s goal. Brittany Morgan sent in a cross from the left wing that Jennifer Dominguez was able to get a foot on to score in the 85th minute. The last five minutes were nerve-wracking for Texas, but the team was able to get its first conference win beating the Cyclones 2-1.

“It is nice to get a win. First win of the league and it’s points that we needed and a win that we needed,” Petrucelli said. 

Printed on Monday September 26, 2011 as: Longhorns recoup, notch first conference win