Longhorns stifle Cyclones in shutout 2-0 victory

Arjun Rao, Sports Reporter

In their seventh shutout of the season, the Longhorns bullied the Iowa State offense in a physical defensive showdown, winning 2-0.

As a season-high 1,536 fans watched at Mike A. Myers stadium, Texas only allowed three shots on goal, and five total shots, as its defense continuously swarmed any Cyclone player with the ball. The energy that the Longhorns  defense played with kept Texas afloat as the offense overcame a slow start in the first half en route to 18 shots, with 10 of them on goal.

“It’s being determined, having grit and spirit,” sophomore defender Lauren Lapomarda said when asked about the team’s defensive mindset.

Texas had those three characteristics in bundles, playing with high intensity throughout. The Longhorns have now played 281 minutes without allowing a goal to their opponent.

Texas’ offense started to come to life near the end of the first half. In minute 42, Lapomarda received the ball near the half circle at the top of the Iowa State goal box. Passing the ball to the right baseline, senior forward Mackenzie McFarland received it and then crossed the ball to freshman midfielder Lexi Missimo, who was open in front of the goal for the easy score.

With the win, the Longhorns  improved their record after scoring the first goal to 7-0-2. Texas is 32-3-3 since 2018 when it scores first.

In minute 54 of the game, in a reenactment of the goal she scored against Texas Tech, senior midfielder Julia Grosso headed the ball to freshman forward Trinity Byars inside the goal box. Taking possession of the ball, Byars passed it back to Grosso who fired the ball past junior Iowa State goalie Jordan Silkowitz.

Byars, who was credited with an assist, increased her scoring streak to eight consecutive games, second most in Texas soccer history and one point behind Kelly Wilson, who set the record with nine points in 2001.

Texas had more opportunities to score in the second half, but was hit with six offsides penalties. Byars made her frustration known after the Longhorns were dealt their fifth penalty in minute 74, making an exasperated plea to the referee before running back to play defense.

Head coach Angela Kelly hit another milestone after celebrating her 50th birthday with a win against Texas Tech on Oct. 3, as she secured her 100th win as the head coach of the Texas women’s soccer team. Kelly won 160 games as the head coach of Tennessee.

Despite the win, Texas will hope to score more going forward, as the Big 12 champion will now be determined by points-per-match, as opposed to total points scored, after the Iowa State-Oklahoma State game ended in cancellation due to lightning.

When asked about the impact of the change, Kelly seemed unconcerned.

“You’ve got to win,” Kelly said. “We’re not focusing on any of that.”

After their win against the Cyclones, the Longhorns are currently leading the Big 12 in points-per-match at 2.6.

With this caveat, Texas will need to avoid low scoring games, as poor offensive performances put their pursuit of the Big 12 championship at risk. The now 8-3-3 Longhorns will continue their pursuit for the championship on Oct. 15 against Baylor.