Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Unity on the pitch: The winning chemistry of Texas Soccer

Kevin Kim
Lauren Lapomarda dribbles the ball up the field against Louisiana State University on August 24, 2023.

It’s evident that the Longhorn soccer team has become no stranger to success throughout this season. With seven wins and a tie under their belt in nine games played, keeping seven of those opponents scoreless, Texas has no shortage of talent on their roster. Although, a team’s measure of talent is only a piece to the puzzle of winning.

This year, Texas is fueled by its cohesion, allowing it to fire on all cylinders on the field.

“The chemistry of this season changed from last season’s,” junior midfielder Lexi Missimo said. “We’re closer and more as a unit, and it’s coming on the field, so you can see it. We play more like a family.” 

Missimo has played a major part in getting her team prepared to play each week, along with her fellow captains junior midfielder Jilly Shimkin and senior midfielder Hannah Waesch, a transfer from Auburn. 

“The captains have played a big role off the field getting the team together to do small group sessions together, and it’s obviously showing on the field,” Missimo said.

Communication impacts every facet of the pitch, from the forwards all the way to the back four.

“Communication is everything,” said Mia Justus, junior goalkeeper and Florida State transfer. “If your team isn’t on the same page, it’s less likely that you’ll succeed.”

When observing other teams playing across different sports, it’s not uncommon to witness conflicts arise due to big personalities clashing on the same team. The Longhorns, however, know that no player is bigger than the team.

“There are very few (conflicts), but I feel like we’re a pretty direct team and pretty close group,” Justus said. “I think that conflicts get handled pretty easily and quickly, honestly, which is nice.”

Leading the Longhorns is head coach Angela Kelly, who has been successful in steering her team to a winning record so far this season, opening Big 12 play with a 4-0 win over Baylor. Part of a coach’s job is focusing on team dynamics and Kelly has proven that she can produce real team players. 

“My true, deepest philosophy as a coach is to develop stronger young women, and (I) love to see them flourish and grow and thrive in our program”, Kelly said. “We invest in them, we see them thrive, and most importantly we see them happy.”

Looking to the future, it’s clear that Texas has plenty of fuel to drive them to dominance on the pitch.

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