No. 8 Soccer drops heartbreaker at Rice, 1-0
HOUSTON -- The eighth-ranked University of Texas soccer team (3-2) dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker at Rice (5-0-1) on Sunday (Sept. 10) night in front of 906 fans at Rice Soccer/Track Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The two teams met in Houston for the first time in program history and broke UT's win streak of two since the programs first met in 2002.
"We just didn't take the game over the way we needed to early," said eighth-year head coach Chris Petrucelli. "We spent most of the night missing scoring chances. We hit a lot of balls right at (Rice goalkeeper Amy) McClintock, who probably had one of her best games."
The only goal of the match was scored 34 minutes, six seconds into the contest on a play that started with a cross from the right side of the field in front of the Texas goal. UT cleared it out of the box, but the Owls' Shelly Wong came away with the ball. After a quick pass to her teammate Samantha Conn, who turned and fired from 20 yards out, the ball landed in the right side of the net, just past an outstretched Texas goalkeeper, Dianna Pfenninger (Sugar Land, Texas).
With Rice ahead 1-0 at intermission, UT's attack came out of the lockerroom strong, taking 11 second-half shots and forcing Rice's goalkeeper McClintock to make a nine of her career-high 10 saves during the final period.
Senior Priscille Fite (Irving, Texas) came within striking distance early in the half, kicking the ball off her left foot in an attempt to wrap it around McClintock and into the box. The Rice goalkeeper made a diving save to stop the Texas attack and keep the Longhorns off the scoreboard.
Junior forward Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas) had a one-on-one with McClintock in the 74th-minute of the game. Senior Carrie Schmit (La Mesa, Calif.) passed to senior Amy Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif.) who gave the ball to Carpenter, who took the shot that landed just outside of the left side of the goal.
The UT defense also got stronger in the second half. Rice had a chance to score on an open net when Pfenninger saved a shot from Rice's Erin Scott. The ball bounced to the Owls' Stephanie Crain who seemed to have an open shot with Pfenninger out of the net, but senior Karen Haight (Beaverton, Ore.) blocked her attempt to keep Rice from scoring.
Pfenninger recorded three saves on 11 Rice shots in 90 minutes of action. Burlingham took a game-high five shots including three on goal and Carpenter posted three shots, all against the Rice goalkeeper.
McClintock recorded a career-high ten saves, stopping 20 Texas shots and earning third shutout of the season.
The Longhorns have a quick turnaround, playing three matches this week. The first game is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.CT against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. UT then returns to home to Mike A. Myers Stadium for the weekend to face Nicholls State on Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.CT and California State Fullerton on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. CT.