Coming off three straight wins, Texas looked to extend its winning streak when it faced off against Monmouth University on Sunday. However, things did not go as planned for the Longhorns, as they found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-0 loss at home.
The Hawks outshot the Longhorns 12-11, and a lackluster defensive performance made way for Texas to allow the most goals since Sept. 6, 2012, when the Longhorns lost 5-0 to BYU.
“We really pride ourselves on being really stingy on the defensive side,” head coach Angela Kelly said after last week’s win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. “The thing I’m most proud of this evening is that clean sheet. That’s where everything has to start from.”
Monmouth established its lead early, scoring the first goal five minutes into the match when forward Dana Scheriff finished a cross from defender Sarina Jones from six yards out. This goal later proved to be just the first of a trio of points scored in a 20-minute stretch.
The Hawks extended the lead to two just short of the 18-minute mark when midfielder Lexie Palladino finished a header from 12 yards out. The score then became 0-3 when forward A’Liah Moore scored the team’s third goal in the 25th minute with Texas still looking to register a single shot on goal.
“I think we started off a bit slow,” goalkeeper Nicole Curry said on Monmouth’s early success. “We let a few players get open in the back and that was our main problem.”
This is the first time Curry has allowed more than two goals since Nov. 19, 2017, when the team lost 0-3 against Duke in the NCAA tournament.
The Texas defense improved in the second half of the game, but to no avail. The Longhorns allowed just one more goal during the 83rd minute.
“We executed the game plan better [in the second half], for sure,” Curry said. “We need to work on doing the details, making sure we’re in the right placements and finishing our shots.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Monmouth had scored just one goal in five games this season combined.
The team was without two-time All-American forward Cyera Hintzen, paving the way for redshirt junior forward Cydney Billups to get her first start of the season. However, Billups only recorded one shot in the match.
“I needed to make an impact on the game, to be a player that my teammates can count on, to play for them,” Billups said.
Without one of their veteran leaders, the team’s offense appeared to lack the same aggression they showed in recent games.
“I think we needed a little more fight up there and a little more ‘want to’ score goals,” Billups said. “But that’s an easy fix and we’ll definitely get it done before the next game.”
The Longhorns will look to bounce back when they host Providence on Thursday at 7 p.m.