Texas suffers first-round exit in Big 12 tournament

Matthew Truty

With a few minutes remaining in the second half and holding a 1-0 lead, the Longhorns were on the cusp of sealing a victory over Baylor in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

But that never came to fruition as the Bears fought back for a 2-1 win in overtime, with Baylor midfielder Julie James delivering the golden goal.

Baylor came out aggressive in the first half against the No. 4-seeded Longhorns, pressing with a flurry of attacks led by junior forward Lauren Piercy and All-Big 12 first team forward Aline de Lima. 

De Lima and Baylor attacked the holes in the Texas defense with three shots on sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Curry in the last 10 minutes before halftime, but the Longhorns held strong despite only putting up one shot on goal.

“We need to return the physicality and just play a little quicker,” head coach Angela Kelly said in an interview on the TV broadcast prior to heading to the locker room. “We gotta stop giving the ball back as soon as we win it.”

On the offensive side of the ball, freshman forward Haley Berg and sophomore forward Cyera Hintzen had often been the creators and scorers for Texas this season, but both were held without any real quality opportunities against Baylor’s defense. 

Texas found a moment of brilliance from junior midfielder Katie Glenn, who scored in the 72nd minute. 

Fresh off of All-Big 12 first team honors, Glenn slipped through the Baylor defense and scored after receiving a through ball from Berg.

The momentum was short-lived for Texas, though, as Piercy’s strike off a cross tied the game up with under two minutes to play in regulation.

Texas had been 5–1 in overtime games this season entering Wednesday’s match. In overtime, the Bears led a gashing attack. De Lima delivered a through ball to James, who sealed the win in the 99th minute with a golden goal.

Texas’ excellent regular season performances have put themselves in a good position for the NCAA tournament, but an early exit in the Big 12 tournament will hang over the Longhorns’ heads. Now, Texas must sit at home and wait for an NCAA tournament selection.