Texas falls to West Virginia 1-0, awaits NCAA Tournament bracket

Kihwan Lee

The No. 18 Texas Longhorns finished their Big 12 campaign bowing out of the Big 12 Championship tournament after falling to No. 14 West Virginia once again on Friday night.

With the loss, Texas reduces its chance to possibly receive a higher seed and home field advantage in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which starts November 9.

The Longhorns were unable to defeat a West Virginia squad that gave them a lot of trouble in their first matchup in Morgantown with a 2-1 loss on Oct. 7.

The second match against the Mountaineers looked awfully similar to their first.

West Virginia outshot Texas again 28-9, including 9-4 in shots on goal. Texas struggled to sustain offensive pressure throughout most of the game while West Virginia looked as comfortable as it did in the first matchup against the Longhorns.

The Longhorns defense was threatened all night challenging goalkeeper Nicole Curry to record seven saves. West Virginia also attempted eight corners to Texas’ two.

Head coach Angela Kelly made the decision to play Canadian freshman Emma Regan over senior Paige Hooper. The senior, who was among the team leaders in minutes during the regular season, did not play a single minute of the Big 12 Championship tournament.

Cyera Hintzen, who has been an offensive juggernaut all season has been quiet as of late. The junior forward has not scored since Oct. 5 against Iowa State.

The first and only goal came from the Mountaineers at the 63 minute mark when midfielder Nadya Gill dribbled the ball toward the top of the box before passing a through ball to forward Sh’Nia Gordon who then finished from 15 yards out.

The Big 12 is recognized as the toughest conference in the country, and Texas has been battle tested with grueling road trips as well as midseason injuries. And while Texas fell short of its goal to win the Big 12, the Longhorns will look to finish their season strong with a promising showing at the NCAA Tournament.

The Longhorns’ NCAA Tournament path will be determined during the annual NCAA Selection Show broadcast through NCAA.com on Monday at 3:30 p.m.