Offensive balance paces Texas soccer early in Big 12 play

Brittany Lamas

Texas women’s soccer will hit the road to play West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., and Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., coming off its first Big 12 Conference wins at home last weekend.

Texas beat TCU on Friday and Iowa State on Sunday to improve to an 8-3-1 record on the season, marking a four game winning streak. The team’s last loss came on the road to Colorado

Since the loss, Texas has outscored its opponents 11-1 and so far this season it has seen 11 different players ranging from freshman forwards to the sophomore goalkeeper score a goal and 16 players record either an assist or goal.

“It takes a little bit of pressure off of each player and it certainly makes it hard to defend us,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “We’re going to need to be battle tested and we’re going to need every single one of us to be plugged in.”

Of the 11 players who scored, six have scored multiple goals. In 2012, only nine different players scored for the entire season. Sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick and junior defender Brooke Gilbert lead the team with four goals apiece, followed by sophomore midfielder Chantale Campbell with three. 

The Mountaineers hold an 8-2-2 record and also head into the matchup on a four-game winning streak and an undefeated mark in Big 12 play, having beat Oklahoma State and Baylor in their last outings. The win against Baylor broke up a 31-game win streak for the Bears. Since joining the conference last year, West Virginia has yet to lose a Big 12 regular
season game.

“I’ve competed against West Virginia my whole career, especially at Tennessee and I have a ton of respect for their coaching staff and for their style of play,” Kelly said after the Iowa State win. “It’s a great environment in Morgantown. This is like an NCAA first or second round game to me. We’re ultimately here to win championships, so we need a little bit of that seasoning and we’re going to get it.”

Kansas will play TCU at home Sunday after taking on Texas on Friday. Going into the weekend, the Jayhawks have a 5-5-1 record, and are coming off a loss to Santa Clara. The Jawhawks will open conference play against the teams from Texas.

“It’s one game at time,” Kelly said. “It’s still very early in the conference season and we can’t ever look past an opponent and we’ve been taking it one game at a time.”