Texas soccer returns to Austin, faces Samford and Illinois State

Brittany Lamas

Texas women’s soccer returns home, after losing both games of a two-game road trip, to take on Samford on Friday and Illinois State on Sunday in Austin at Mike A. Meyers Track and Soccer Stadium.

Senior midfielder Gabby Zarnegar said the losses will not affect the team this weekend. 

“We built our mentality this week to be more competitive and not be soft on teams,” Zarnegar said. “We want to really impose our style onto them.”

In their last outing, the Longhorns lost to Oregon 2-1 in Eugene, despite outshooting the Ducks 14-9 and forcing eight corner kicks to Oregon’s four. Zarnegar had a team-leading four shots in the game, but was unable to score.

Texas’ only goal came off a penalty kick 85 minutes into the game from junior defender Brooke Gilbert after freshman forward Jasmine Hart was taken down by Oregon goalkeeper Abby Steele in the box.

Longhorn keeper Abby Smith had three saves that day but was unable to stop two first-half goals by the Ducks.

“There’s a ton of positives I took out of this weekend: being second in the nation in corner kicks and leading in the minutes of possession of each game and shots,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “It’s not for a lack of organizing for success in terms of creating, it’s now organizing for success to dominate and put a ball in early.”

Friday will be the second meeting between Texas and Samford in program history. The Bulldogs posted an 8-1-2 Southern Conference record in 2012 and returned seven starters for 2013. So far this season Samford holds a 2-1 record and is coming off a win against in-state rival Auburn for the first time in school history.  

Texas has never played against Illinois State, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference — a conference Texas soccer has only played against one other time in program history. The Redbirds won the 2012 Missouri Valley conference title, but after beating Miami (Ohio) 3-2, they lost their last three matches and allowed at least four goals in each match.  This is a stat the Longhorns hope to take advantage of as they attempt to break their streak of out-shooting opponents and losing.