Shooting a 3-over-par 291 Sunday, the Longhorns secured a three-way tie for fourth to finish the first round of the 41st annual Betsy Rawls Invitational on Sunday.
Fifteen teams competed in the first day of the tournament, which takes place at the University of Texas Golf Club. Texas shares the fourth spot with Tulane and Iowa State, trailing leader UNLV by seven strokes. SMU slotted in right behind UNLV at 2-under-par while Baylor took third with an even 288.
Senior Bertine Strauss led Texas’ performance with four birdies and one bogey, good for a 3-under-par 69 and fifth place individually. Junior Natalie Karcher completed Texas’ second-best outing with an even-par 72. Three sophomores made their season debuts.
The tournament continues Monday morning. Texas will be paired with Tulane and Iowa State for the second round.
Before Friday’s game against Kansas, head coach Angela Kelly said Texas (7-5-2) needed to be a 90-minute team if it wanted to knock off the No. 11 Jayhawks (14-1-0) at home.
Texas failed to score in the first half for the fourth consecutive game, and the stifling Kansas defense made sure to keep the Longhorns off the board for the rest of the contest and hand Texas a 1-0 defeat.
Despite the disappointing score, Texas still uncorked 17 shots. Senior midfielder Sharis Lachapelle led the charge with five shots of her own including two of Texas’ seven shots on goal, but she took no consolation in her strong game.
“We were disappointed with how we played,” Lachapelle said. “We had a few opportunities. We just couldn’t put one in the back of the net.”
The Longhorns’ signature high-press defense held the Jayhawks to just four shots on goal, but Kansas only needed one big play to come away with the program’s first victory in Austin.
In the 63rd minute, Kansas junior forward Ashley Williams received a pass outside the top right corner of the box, turned and fired a laser from distance that passed just over the outstretched arms of Texas junior keeper Abby Smith into the top left corner of the net. The Longhorns will look to rebound Friday at 7 p.m. with a road contest against Big 12 foe TCU (7-5-3).