Texas soccer sputters again in 2-1 road loss to West Virginia

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Photo Credit: Jack Myer | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas soccer team dropped to 1–3 on the season after another disappointing offensive effort that ended in a 2-1 loss to West Virginia. 

The Longhorns traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia, on Friday night to take on the No. 7 Mountaineers in front of a scattered crowd of only essential game operations personnel, the families of players and coaches.

Texas came into the matchup needing to find more offensive production after only scoring one goal through its first three games of the 2020 campaign. 

Although the Longhorns desperately needed an offensive spark to turn their season around, the Mountaineers dominated possession early on and never relented. 

West Virginia smothered the Longhorns with a barrage of shots and corner kicks in the opening minutes until junior defender Jordan Brewster opened the scoring with a well-placed penalty kick at the 16-minute mark to make it 1-0 in favor of the Mountaineers. 

West Virginia didn’t let off the gas after the initial marker. After Texas senior keeper Savannah Madden veered far out of the goal box to play a loose ball, redshirt junior forward Lauren Segalla forced a turnover and scored into an empty net to make it 2-0 just 16 seconds later.

“It was an unfortunate lack of communication on that ball,” head coach Angela Kelly said “Two goals in 16 seconds put us behind the eight ball.”

 

Despite quickly finding themselves in a 2-0 hole, the Longhorns cut the deficit in half seven minutes later with a goal from junior midfielder Julia Grosso after a setup from senior midfielder Haley Berg to make it 2-1.

Although Madden’s miscue led to the second Mountaineer goal, it was her performance that kept the game close throughout the first half. Minutes after Grosso’s goal, Madden made a spectacular save to turn West Virginia junior midfielder Isabella Sidley away on a one-on-one chance, keeping the score at 2-1.

The Longhorns needed every bit of Madden’s performance. West Virginia dominated almost every statistical category in the first half, outshooting the Longhorns 13-3 and making five shots on goal compared to just one from Texas. 

West Virginia’s monopoly on possession ceased to grow weaker as both teams took the field for the second half. The Mountaineers played a near-perfect half of physical defensive soccer and only allowed one more shot on goal for the remainder of the game. 

“It was a battle,” Kelly said. “They were pressing in a lot of different spaces, and we were finding it very hard to connect a pass going forward.” 

Although the Mountaineer’s defense largely restricted the Longhorns from finding any footing on West Virginia’s side of the field, Kelly took some solace in Berg and Grosso finally connecting for a goal. 

“They’re two creative players, and they like to run off one another,” Kelly said. “I thought that goal was fantastic.” 

After Friday’s loss, the Longhorns will now look at next week’s home matchup against Kansas State as a chance to score multiple goals in a game for the first time this season.