Fresh off the heels of a 2–1 victory over Baylor, Texas now looks to continue its new winning streak with a win over Iowa State on Thursday. But before the Longhorns’ upcoming matchup, head coach Angela Kelly took time Monday to reflect on the match against the Bears and compliment her team for the strides that have been made throughout Texas’ turbulent season.
“This season has been crazy, as you expect in the Big 12,” Kelly said. “(I’m) really proud of our squad going that hour and a half up the road to Waco to take on Baylor the other evening. It’s a tough environment.”
Kelly applauded her young team for adjusting to an intense environment on the fly. She pointed to the statistic that the team is 7–0 on the season when they score the first goal of the game — as they did against Baylor.
In addition to her praise for Texas’ performance in Waco, Kelly highlighted the significant growth of individual players on the team throughout the year.
Kelly began by first applauding Savannah Madden, the junior goalkeeper who made her first start since Aug. 29 against Baylor. Madden brought in seven saves against the Bears — her most since the team’s first game of the season against Gonzaga when she had eight.
“Fantastic, she was a world-class goalkeeper the other evening,” Kelly said. “She has wonderful distribution, she made a catlike save on the back post that was special. She’s growing into the position in terms of the organization of the back line and the communication. You don’t just step on the field and have that. It comes with training, time and experience.”
The coach also lauded the play of sophomore midfielder Carlee Allen, citing her as a player whose skills have drastically improved since the beginning of the season.
However, Kelly’s praise didn’t end with Allen. She also made sure to express her admiration for senior defender Atu Mshana.
“I’ve said this lots in the past. (Mshana) is the best center back that I have ever coached, flat out,” Kelly said. “She doesn’t get the recognition in the conference, which I’m not sure why because teams can’t get around her.”