Carpenter nets game winner as Soccer defeats Nebraska, 1-0, in overtime
SAN ANTONIO -- Junior forward Kelsey Carpenter scored the game-winning goal to give seventh-ranked Texas a 1-0 overtime win over sixth-seeded Nebraska.
The Longhorns, who entered the match as the third-seed, advance to the semifinal match with the victory in front of 318 fans on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.
Carpenter (Allen, Texas) netted the seventh game-winning goal of her career at 96:29, breaking the UT single-season record set by Kelly Wilson in 2004. Junior Caitlin Kennedy (Euless, Texas) passed the ball inside to Carpenter from the left flank, notching her second assist of the season in nine matches. Ironically, the pair hooked up in the Nebraska game earlier this year.
"Carpenter and Kennedy - they have played together their whole lives," said eighth-year head coach Chris Petrucelli. "They have hooked up a number of times to score goals. Today, we were looking to get the ball into our front players. That group is so talented that they are going to score."
Texas will face Oklahoma State, ranked seventh in the NSCAA/adidas national coaches' poll, in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. (Central). The Cowgirls won 2-1 over Oklahoma in game three on Wednesday evening.
In the opening minutes of the game, Texas set the tone for the remainder of the match. The Longhorns continually drove down field, utilizing the forwards and midfielders on each side of the field as well as in the middle.
Seniors Amy Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Carrie Schmit (La Mesa, Calif.) took two shots each in the opening period. Burlingham, UT's leader in all-time matches played, took three shots in the first 15 minutes of the half.
Carpenter was also active in the attack early in the game, setting up a drive seven minutes into the match. She dribbled the ball on the near side and sent a cross in front but Kleges came out of the goal to deflect the ball to the right of the goal and out of bounds. The drive set up a corner kick that was then cleared by the Huskers.
A few plays later, Burlingham took the ball and charged down the near side with one Nebraska defender en route to break up the potential scoring drive. Just 12 minutes, 46 seconds into the half, Burlingham dribbled within 10 yards of the box before kicking a cross inside the center of the box where Carpenter was waiting amidst a sea of red Husker uniforms. The Nebraska defense cleared the shot but Burlingham regained control and fired once again. Nebraska goalkeeper Jaime Kleges deflected the ball before falling on top of it to prevent the score.
The Longhorns totaled 24 shots with eight attempts on goal despite being held scoreless and out-shooting NU by a slim margin of 8-4 in the first period. UT came out on the attack in the second half with four shots in the first ten minutes of the second period.
Overall, sophomore goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger (Sugar Land, Texas) registered her eighth shutout of the season, accumulating four saves in goal. Pfenninger extended her program-best single season win total to 14 matches.
Kleges stopped seven of Texas' eight shots on goal including a blast taken by Priscilla Fite at the 35:30 mark in the opening period.
Texas is 5-3 under Petrucelli in the Big 12 Soccer Championships quarterfinals and 2-1 against Nebraska in the tournament championship.
With the win, UT equals the all-time series at 8-8 against Nebraska. It marks the second time this season UT has beaten Nebraska as the Longhorns were victorious by a final tally of 2-1 on Sunday, Oct. 15 in Lincoln, Neb.
Soccer America magazine National Player of the Week Kasey Moore had a brief shake-up in the first period colliding with NU's Carly Peetz at 20:23.
Earlier in the day, top-seed Texas A&M defeated eighth-seeded Baylor, 3-0 in the single elimination tournament.
In game two, fourth-seed Kansas was upset by fifth-seeded Colorado in a match that was determined by penalty kicks. Regulation ended with the match tied at 1-1. The Buffs netted all five of their attempts as the Jayhawks put the ball past the CU goalkeeper three times.
UT moved up in the polls, rated seventh in the Soccer America and Soccer Times magazines' national polls and ranked ninth in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches' and SoccerBuzz polls.