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

No. 14 Texas falls to No. 6 BYU Cougars at home

Naina Srivastava
Goalkeeper Mia Justus kicks the ball out of the goalie box during Texas’ game against BYU on Sept. 25, 2023 at Mike Myers Stadium.

The No. 14 ranked Texas Longhorns lost 3-2 to No. 6 BYU Cougars on Monday at Mike A. Meyers Stadium. 

The first half of this top-15 matchup had a little bit of everything. The fifth meeting of all time between the two teams was highly anticipated. BYU just recently joined the Big 12 Conference this year, and both teams were coming off of losses from their previous games. With both teams dropping in national rankings, the Longhorns and Cougars came onto the field with something to prove. 

Right off the bat, Texas looked solid, with the first shot coming at the 38-minute mark. The high press of junior midfielder Lexi Missimo and junior forward Trinity Byars forced a turnover and opportunity for Texas, but it was saved off the rebound of BYU defenders. 

Despite BYU coming with a higher ranking and a solid offensive record, the Longhorns did an excellent job at playing defense, which helped them transition into creating offensive opportunities. Anytime a player lost the ball, there was an immediate reaction, with the Texas defense winning the ball back. 

“We needed a response, and I thought (we) came out good,” Texas head coach Angela Kelly said. 

This defense played a pivotal role, not only in the back of the Texas lineup but at the top, too. Just under five minutes into the game, Missimo won a turnover ball just outside the box of the Cougars’ goal. Like second nature, Missimo played a through ball to Byars, who dribbled the ball to the end line, turned and laid it off for Missimo, who scored a goal, perfectly placed in the left corner. 

As the half continued, Texas focused on maintaining possession and playing quick, 1-and-2-touch soccer, preventing many Cougar opportunities. 

Standout junior transfer Mia Justus had an impressive first half, keeping the Longhorns at 1-0 for 43 minutes. The goalkeeper had four saves in the first half, ending the match with nine. 

“I think it’s wonderful,” Kelly said. “Justus is big time (back there.)” 

Justus’s clutch saves weren’t enough to stop the BYU attack, and with two minutes left in the half, the Cougars tied the game. Junior defender Oliva Smith-Griffitts bypassed Texas’s defense and crossed the ball into the box for sophomore forward Ellie Walbruch, who managed to score off a turn with her back to the goal. 

The entertaining first half ended 1-1. 

Emotions and adrenaline started to run high, with the game tied in the second half. Texas began to foul and leave room for error, creating opportunities for the Cougars to capitalize. 

At the 28-minute mark, BYU was awarded a free kick after a foul by Texas outside of the box. Senior midfielder Olivia Wade-Katoa played a high ball for senior midfielder Brecken Mozingo, who finished off a volley to the back of the net.

Texas needed an answer to tie the game, with the Cougars leading for the first time in the match. Just four minutes after the BYU goal, Texas junior midfielder Holly Ward held the ball on the right side of the Cougar goal box, crossing the ball into the box and finding Missimo, who finished with a shot to the top right corner of the Cougars’ goal. 

The battle continued between the Cougars and Longhorns as the crowd watched anxiously. BYU had an answer with just under seven minutes left, the Cougars scored. Junior midfielder Tara Warner crossed the ball into the box for sophomore forward Erin Bailey, who got the job done. 

Texas lost its second game of Big 12  play, leaving it 7-3-1 overall. 

“There were moments we had, and that’s the margin of victory,” Kelly said. “It’s disappointing, but the effort is there. A number of our players put in a shift, and we did this thing together.” 

Texas hosts West Virginia in Austin on Thursday, Sept. 28.

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About the Contributor
Naina Srivastava, Senior News Reporter & Senior Photographer
Naina is a freshman journalism major from Mountain View, California. She is currently a senior news reporter and senior photographer at the Texan.