Soccer pulls out 2-1 victory over No. 13 Texas A&M in State Farm Lone Star Showdown
AUSTIN, Texas -- Caitlin Kennedy's second-half goal proved to be the game-winner and Dianna Pfenninger made a career-high seven saves as Texas upset No. 13 Texas A&M by a score of 2-1 in front of a season-best 1,906 fans at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The victory was the Longhorns' (5-5-1, 2-2-0) second-ever against the Aggies (8-2-1, 2-1-0) and gave Texas one point toward the 2005-06 State Farm Lone Star Showdown. Notably, the soccer game was the first contest in the rivalry series between the two schools this year.
Both teams managed to combine for 15 shots during the first half of play, but the respective defenses denied the resulting scoring opportunities and kept the match scoreless heading into the halftime intermission. Within the first two minutes of the second half, Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas) split a pair of Aggies defenders inside the box on a bouncing service, but was hauled down before taking a shot to set up a penalty kick. Freshman defender Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.) then fired a shot from the spot past A&M goalkeeper Kati Jo Spisak to stake Texas to a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Kennedy (Euless, Texas) settled a cross along the endline in Aggies' territory, beat a defender on the dribble, and fired a shot from point-blank range inside the near post and off the outstretched arms of Spisak to give UT a 2-0 advantage.
Now trailing by two, A&M pushed its attack and regularly sent crosses into the Longhorns' end. After being denied on a couple of opportunities by Pfenninger (Sugar Land, Texas) and the Horns' defense, A&M's Melissa Garey managed to break free on the far side of the box and notched her league-leading 11th goal of the year off a Carrie Berend throw-in to make it a 2-1 game. While the Aggies would have back-to-back quality scoring chances in the 71st minute as defender Julie Gailey (San Ramon, Calif.) cleared a shot off the line and Pfenninger made a diving stop on Garey, the Longhorns managed to hold their lead and earn their 17th victory in their last 18 home matches. Pfenninger, who made a career-high seven stops on the afternoon, earned her third victory of the year in the win, while Spisak, despite posting four saves, shouldered the loss.
Headlining the respective offenses on the day were Moore for Texas and Garey for A&M, who collected four and five shots, respectively, as the Aggies narrowly outshot the Horns by an 18-12 margin. Notably, Kennedy also picked up her second goal in as many games and finished with five points during the Longhorns' two weekend matches.
Up next, the Horns continue their homestand with a 7 p.m. Central game against Colorado on Friday, Oct. 7, at Myers Stadium.