Longhorns can’t capitalize in 0-0 tie against Trojans

Aaron Torres

The gut punch came at the 110-minute mark.

That’s when Texas finished its game with Arkansas-Little Rock 0-0 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The pain wasn’t caused by a particular play, but a lack of them. It didn’t come from one missed opportunity, but a series of them.

“You know, the game of soccer can be very cruel,” head coach Angela Kelly said.

As if playing on a scorching green skillet disguised as a soccer field when it’s 93 degrees outside wasn’t enough punishment, the Longhorns couldn’t win. Even though they attempted a season-high 29 shots — eight of which were on goal — Texas couldn’t break through in front of 322 fans.

“I think we worked hard,” redshirt freshman forward Mikayla Flores said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just about putting the ball in the back of the net, and we couldn’t get that done.”

Because they couldn’t get it done, the Longhorns fell to 3-2-3 on the season. It’s Texas’ second game at home that ended in a scoreless tie. The second time players and coaches talked about all the opportunities they had, but failed to capitalize on.

“We have to organize to put the ball in the back of the net,” Kelly said. “We’re creating plenty of opportunities — 29 to six in shots, 10 to three in corner kicks, their goalkeeper made eight saves — now we gotta make sure we make one of those count.”

If Texas capitalized, then it could have shut out the Trojans and won — but Texas couldn’t. It couldn’t on a day when senior goalkeeper Abby Smith recorded her 27th career shutout — on an afternoon when her four saves and the zero on the scoreboard showed she did her job, but Texas’ offense couldn’t execute its job.

“It happens,” Smith said. “So it’s something that we’ve gotta work on and we gotta improve on.”

The Longhorns’ 29 shots showed their aggressiveness, their competitiveness and their effort. But some of the shots were rushed and could have been better.

“I thought we wasted a lot of opportunities with off-balanced shots and poor decision-making as the final pass at times,” Kelly said.

Texas’ effort didn’t displease Kelly.

“I just need the execution to be more focused,” Kelly said.