Soccer downs Oklahoma 1-0 on Lachappelle goal
Sept. 23, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - The Texas Soccer program finished its first weekend of Big 12 Conference action with a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma Sunday afternoon at John Crain Field. With the win, the Longhorns improved to 2-0-0 in the league for the first time since 2006.
For UT (5-6-1, 2-0-0 Big 12) on Sunday, it was sophomore Sharis Lachappelle tallying the game-winning goal for the second-straight contest. She scored at 8:40 on the first shot of the match. Freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith also posted her second-straight shutout, giving Texas blankings of its initial two league foes for the first time since 2002.
After the squads battled for possession for the opening eight minutes of Sunday's contest, Texas was awarded a corner kick at 8:34. Junior Gabby Zarnegar served the ball toward the goal and Lachappelle headed it home for her second score in as many contests. The helper gave Zarnegar the assist on Texas' last three goals, all with serves off corner kicks.
Texas' Allison Smith fired wide at 10:16 and Oklahoma's Renae Cuellar forced Abby Smith to make a save at 10:53. Zarnegar tallied her own shot on goal at 12:07, but Kelsey Devonshire came up with the stop for OU.
The Sooners' Molly Richey had a pair of shots before UT responded with two more attempts, one by Zarnegar and the second from Abby Smith off a free kick, but Devonshire made stops on both. The squads exchanged shots in the 29th and 33rd minutes before Texas freshman Sydney Shutter took the final try of the half, at 39:26 that was stopped by Devonshire.
In the second stanza, neither team registered a shot until 51:56, when Katharine Nutman got a head on a free kick, but the attempt sailed high. UT senior Kristin Cummins answered with shots in the 55th and 56th minutes, but the first was blocked and the second was saved. Classmate Hannah Higgins nearly made it a 2-0 edge at 67:40 and 70:42, but her two shots each rolled about a foot wide of the net.
Oklahoma (4-5-3, 0-1-1 Big 12) had its best chance to score in the 75th minute on consecutive corner kicks from Cuellar after her initial shot was deflected out of bounds. UT cleared aside both corners. The Sooners had their final shot at 81:14 as Richey's attempt was blocked by Lachappelle, preserving the Longhorns' shutout.
Texas has next weekend off before returning to Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field for a 7 p.m. contest Oct. 5 against No. 7 Oklahoma State (9-3-0, 0-2-0 Big 12).
"I'll say it again, I'm very, very happy for this team. I'm proud of their willingness to listen to a game plan. There are a lot of young players who I told that as soon as conference play started they were not allowed to consider themselves freshmen anymore, but sophomores.
"I'm very proud of the way they've responded and their resiliency. They have understood the business-like fashion it takes to win a soccer game.
"What they're doing, because of our out-of-conference schedule, is due to exposure. The learning curve has been expeditious. I'm very proud of the group."
On Gabby Zarnegar's play
On the play of the remainder of the team
"Whitney Jaynes had the first game where she was able to play a lot and showed composure. She is playing in a one-touch rhythm. Abby Smith just eases everybody with her command of the box. Ali Schmalz, as a freshman, has contributed significantly from the beginning.
"I'm just really, really happy for our whole squad. It truly takes everybody."
Junior Gabby Zarnegar
On her increased playing time
"The entire team is lifting each other up. That also makes it much easier to play well."
On the rest of Big 12 Conference play