Texas soccer advances in Big 12 tourney
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SAN ANTONIO — Texas used a pair of first-half goals and one in the final 10 minutes to down Oklahoma 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday morning. After an own goal gave the Longhorns the lead at 24:03, freshman Kelsey Shimmick scored at 27:02 and 80:09 to lead UT to the victory. Shimmick became the fourth player, and second freshman, in program history to score two or more goals during a Big 12 Championship match.
The triumph pushed the Longhorns (8-10-1) into the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship for the second-straight season and seventh time in the last nine years. It was also Texas’ first-ever victory over Oklahoma (7-9-4) in postseason play. The three goals were the most UT had tallied in a league postseason match since a 3-2 double-overtime victory against Kansas in the semifinals of the 2004 event.
Senior Hannah Higgins tallied an assist on Shimmick’s first goal, giving Higgins 14 in her career, moving her into sole possession of 10th place on the Texas career record chart. Higgins is also third among all active Big 12 players in assists. Freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith’s shutout was her sixth of the season, the second most for a rookie in program history and tied for the ninth most by a Big 12 freshman. Jamie Strong (seven/1994) holds the UT record while the top mark in the Big 12 is owned by Rebecca Hornbacher of Nebraska (14/1996).
Neither team registered a shot Friday morning until the 12th minute, when Higgins took a pass from classmate Kristin Cummins and fired on goal, but Oklahoma goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire came up with the stop. At 12:24, sophomore Brooke Gilbert fired again on Devonshire, who leaped up and knocked the ball over the net for a UT corner kick. Following the serve, freshman Chantale Campbell took a shot from nearly 20 yards away, but it was blocked before reaching Devonshire.
The Sooners responded with an offensive surge of their own, starting with a shot from Samantha Howell at 13:12. Oklahoma recorded a pair of corner kicks in the 17th minute and Katharine Nutman had a shot blocked at 17:40 to end the run.
Texas then broke the game open with two goals in a three minute span to take a 2-0 advantage. The first was started by a pass from sophomore Sharis Lachappelle that went to Campbell and then Shimmick, who sent it toward the net. A Sooner got a foot on the ball to try and clear the Shimmick shot, but the ball hit off the OU player’s foot and went past Devonshire to give the Longhorns the lead. Less than three minutes later, Shimmick took consecutive passes from Higgins and Campbell to send the ball past Devonshire from nearly 14 yards away for the two-goal lead.
OU had its final scoring opportunity in the opening half as Annalisa Hall fired at 38:45 on Smith, who sent the ball over the end line for a save and Sooner corner kick. Hall served in the corner, but no shots resulted.
The Longhorns had the last shot of the half, with 45 seconds remaining, on a Gilbert header following a corner kick from Lachappelle.
In the second half, Higgins tallied the first two shots as her first was blocked and second hit the crossbar. Lachappelle followed with an attempt at 53:20, but it was saved by Devonshire.
The Sooners had their first shot of the second stanza at 54:16, when Kali Fournier fired high. Shimmick took another attempt, at 61:11, but it was blocked.
Both teams were held without a shot over the next 14:30, until Higgins’ shot was saved by Devonshire. Kelly Price fired high for OU at 79:26 for the Sooners’ final shot of the contest.
UT added the insurance at 80:09 with Shimmick’s second goal as she broke away from the defense with a pass from Emilie Campbell in the midfield.
Texas will face the winner of the West Virginia and TCU match at 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon in the semifinals.
- Texas’ three goals were the second most against a Big 12 Conference opponent this season, one less than the team totaled at Iowa State on Sept. 21.
- The offensive performance was only the fourth time in program history the Longhorns had tallied three or more goals during a Big 12 Championship contest (W, 6-0 vs. Iowa State/2001, W, 4-1 vs. Iowa State/2002, W, 3-2 (2OT) vs. Kansas/2004).
- Texas evened its record at 2-2-0 as a No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Championship in program history.
- The Longhorns allowed just five shots, its fewest since surrendering four to Toledo on Aug. 26, 2012.
- UT has gone 6-3-0 this season when allowing an opponent to take fewer than 10 shots.
- The Longhorns led 2-0 at the half Wednesday and are 7-1-0 when leading at the break. Texas has also gone 7-1-1 this season when scoring first.
- The own goal for UT snapped a 227:31 scoreless drought, since sophomore Sharis Lachappelle scored at 88:30 versus Baylor on Oct. 19.
- Freshman Kelsey Shimmick has played 427 minutes in the last six matches after recording 518 in her first 13. The Grapevine, Texas, product has started the last four contests.
- Shimmick joined Kelly Wilson (Nebraska/Nov. 3, 2004), Lauren Field (Iowa State/Nov. 7, 2002) and Kelly McDonald (Iowa State/Nov. 7, 2002 and Iowa State/Nov. 8, 2001) as the only Texas players to score two or more goals during a Big 12 Championship contest.
- McDonald in 2001 was the only other freshman to accomplish the feat.
- Freshman twin sisters Chantale and Emilie Campbell recorded their first career points as each had an assist on a Shimmick goal.
- Freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith did not allow a goal in 180 minutes against Oklahoma this season.