Longhorns continue tough road schedule

Spencer Soicher

Texas has played one of the toughest schedules in the country. Opening conference play with three straight road games just adds to the difficulty.

The Longhorns saw firsthand why West Virginia is the No. 3 ranked team in the country in their 2-0 loss last week in Morgantown.

Now, Texas continues its road trip Friday night against unranked Kansas. It’s the Longhorns’ second Big 12 game before they travel back down the road to Stillwater to face another unranked Big 12 rival in Oklahoma State.

Kansas (5-4-1) comes into the game as winners of three straight while Oklahoma State (5-6-0) has struggled recently. However, Texas head coach Angela Kelly isn’t taking Oklahoma State lightly.

“They’re certainly a lot better than their record would state,” Kelly said. “Oklahoma State is a very good team. They have players that have World Cup experience. You can’t take anybody in our conference lightly.”

Texas faces the daunting task of shutting down junior forward Courtney Dike, who was named All-Big 12 forward and played for Nigeria in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2014. Dike is tied for the team lead in both goals and assists with three in each.

The Longhorns’ defense has been strong this year, allowing nine goals in nine games. But junior defender Isabelle Kerr doesn’t think they’ve reached their potential yet.

“We aim for shutouts each game, and, even though we haven’t let in that many goals, we definitely think we can do better still,” Kerr said.

But perhaps the biggest hurdle Texas faces this week is being away from home yet again.

“When you’re at home, you have everything down. The schedule, the timing, when you want to be places,” Kerr said. “When you’re on the road, it’s a little more difficult because you’re having to adjust around a bus and a new locker room, but we’ve all done this. Other teams have to do it, so we just have to go in and play the best we can.”