Texas rolls past Western Kentucky, stays unbeaten

Dalton Phillips

The second game of Texas’ opening weekend proved to be a one-sided affair on Sunday as the Longhorns cruised past Western Kentucky 2-0 at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field.

Junior midfielder Amber Stearns and freshman forward/midfielder Emily Strouphauer each scored their first goal of the season as the team out-shot the Hilltoppers by a 21-1 margin. The dominant performance gave Texas its first ever 2–0 start under head coach Angela Kelly.

“We’ve really been concentrating on starting strong, and I think the team is taking that to heart,” Kelly said. “Our mentality is we go after it on a Sunday. So I was pleased the players took that to heart and went after (Western Kentucky).”

And go after them they did. Both Texas goals came in the first half, with numerous opportunities created due to the Longhorns’ relentless attack. The burnt orange put up 14 of their 21 shots on the day in the game’s first 45 minutes.

The offensive barrage began just three minutes into the match when sophomore forward Cyera Hintzen boomed a shot toward Western Kentucky goalkeeper Allison Leone, forcing the senior to make the first of her nine saves in the contest.

It wasn’t until the 18-minute mark that Texas found the inside of the twine. A long cross from the left wing by junior midfielder Katie Glenn proved the perfect setup for a header by Stearns from nine yards out to put Texas on the board.

From there, the Longhorns continued to press their advantage. Strouphauer intercepted an errant Western Kentucky pass near midfield and the Round Rock native found herself open from 28 yards out. With a mighty flourish, the ball sailed high over the Hilltopper goalie and clean into the net to give Texas a two-possession advantage.

“I had a lot of space to turn, my teammates made some great runs to draw the defenders away,” Strouphauer said. “I just had an open look, and I took it.”

Despite Sunday’s shutout performance, Texas acknowledges it has a long way to go before the young squad is prepared for its upcoming conference schedule.

“I thought we possessed the ball better than we did on Friday. It's still the opening weekend. We have 10 new players and regardless of whether we denounce it, it's still just their second game,” Kelly said. “I was pleased with how we kept the ball, at least better than we did on Friday, and that certainly needs to become better and better.”

Texas continues its homestand on Friday against Little Rock. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.