Even the best teams can be slowed by injuries, and the Longhorns are no different. Since the start of the season, the team has been without several major contributors for various amounts of time, including senior forward Cyera Hintzen, who is tied for first with Haley Berg in assists and is third on the team in total points.
While Texas has been able to win five games out of their first eight despite the injuries, the most recent match was a big disappointment.
The Texas Longhorns are coming off of a 4-0 loss to Monmouth, their worst loss since 2012. Hintzen was held out of the game for precautionary reasons, leaving the team without one of their leaders on the pitch.
With a match against Providence coming up, the Longhorns will hope to continue to fight through injuries and adversity like they have all season. After losing two games in a row during the Colorado road trip, the team rattled off three straight wins. The adversity gives the team something to learn from moving forward in the season.
“In prior seasons, we’ve been 11–0 and been challenged later in October,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “We want to be challenged and exposed (to adversity) in September.”
Lack of offensive success, particularly early in games, has been a recurring issue for the Longhorns all season. This will have to change against Providence, which is known as a strong defensive team. Providence hasn’t allowed more than one goal in any game this season.
One of the reasons for the team’s offensive struggles against Monmouth was the absence of Hintzen. A Hintzen return against Providence would give the team a much needed offensive boost. While the offense may struggle, the match represents an opportunity for the defense to improve.
As well as the Providence defense has performed thus far this season, the team has struggled to score more than one goal in every game except for one. In what could be a defensive battle, the Longhorns have an opportunity to showcase one of the strengths of the team.
“For us it always begins on the defensive side of the ball,” Kelly said. “A defensive mindset and how we work in transitions, that’s what we want to optimize.“
Despite how poorly they looked on both sides of the ball the last time they took the field, there is no shortage of confidence that they will bounce back. Prior to the Monmouth loss, the team had only allowed one goal across the previous three matches. The offense will have to perform if they want to pull off the victory.
“I think we needed a little more fight up there and a little more ‘want to’ score goals,” redshirt junior forward Cydney Billups said. “But that’s an easy fix, and we’ll definitely get it done before the next game.”