Soccer comes up just short against TCU
Nov. 2, 2012
SAN ANTONIO - In the Big 12 Championship's first semifinal match, 110 minutes of soccer was not enough to determine whether Texas or TCU would advance to Sunday's title game. After the teams played to a scoreless draw through double overtime, the Horned Frogs used a 4-2 advantage in the penalty-kick shootout to move forward in the tournament.
Texas (8-10-2) recorded PK conversions from freshman Lindsey Meyer and sophomore Sharis Lachappelle. TCU (7-9-4) tallied its four scores from Lindsy Schafer, Sarah Schweiss, Serena Smith-Banas and Kelly Johnson. The Longhorns had an opportunity to tie the shootout at 3-3, but TCU goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold made the save and Johnson pushed in the fourth attempt for the clinching score.
With the 0-0 final score, freshman goalkeeper Abby Smith recorded her seventh shutout of the campaign, tying Jamie Strong's Texas rookie record, set in 1994.
At the beginning of the contest, TCU fired the first two shots following a throw in. At 2:59, Smith-Banas headed one toward Smith, who jumped up and knocked the ball aside for the save. Bobbi Clemmer collected the rebound and fired high.
The Longhorns took their first shot at 5:18 as sophomore defender Brooke Gilbert missed wide left. Senior Hannah Higgins recorded the contest's next shot at 17:50 on a pass from Lachappelle, but her attempt missed high.
Texas registered a corner kick at 26:31 and another at 28:23, but no shots resulted. TCU countered with a corner kick at 33:01 and Schafer recorded a shot that went high. The Horned Frogs had the final scoring attempt of the half with a wide right shot from Monica Alvarado at 44:27.
In the second half, the Longhorns put pressure on the TCU defense right from the start. Lachappelle took a corner kick at 47:59 that Meyer got a head on but missed high. Higgins followed with an attempt at 48:50 that went wide right. Freshman Chantale Campbell recorded the first shot on goal of the period at 49:30 as Arnold dove and tipped the ball away for the save.
TCU's Schweiss had a pair of chances in the 54th minute. Her first was blocked and the second missed wide right. UT's initial shot of the half was a header from Higgins that went wide right at 61:33.
The Horned Frogs tried again to crack the scoreboard in the 65th minute when Johnson missed wide right. The teams exchanged shots in the 67th and 68th minutes as Lachappelle sent a header wide left and TCU's Madeline Hamm broke in on Smith, but missed high.
The final shot in regulation for TCU came off the foot of Johnson at 86:30 as she missed wide right. UT nearly broke the scoreless draw in the 87th minute as Higgins passed to Allison Smith, who tried to push the ball into the net and missed wide left by inches. A corner kick from Campbell provided one last opportunity for Texas in regulation, but the attempt at 89:29 was cleared out to midfield.
In the initial overtime period, the Horned Frogs had the first scoring opportunity at 91:45 with a corner kick, but it was cleared to midfield. Higgins again nearly ended the contest at 93:22. Arnold came off her line to clear the ball and hit it toward midfield, but it deflected off Higgins and nearly rolled into the open net. The attempt missed wide right by less than a yard. Higgins had another shot at 97:14, missing wide left.
The Longhorns had another opportunity in the 99th minute and missed by inches again. A TCU foul gave UT a free kick and Lachappelle served the ball toward the goal. Meyer got a head on it, Arnold jumped up and knocked the ball off the crossbar before grabbing it to keep the match scoreless.
The second extra session had UT maintain pressure throughout the first five minutes. Texas recorded a free kick, corner kick and shots by Lachappelle and Higgins. Lachappelle's was high and Arnold made a diving save on Higgins' attempt at 104:03.
Schafer countered with TCU's only attempt in the second overtime at 105:35, but Abby Smith dove and made the stop.
In the penalty kick shootout, Schafer converted the first attempt while Campbell sent her shot off the post. The second and third rounds had Schweiss and Smith-Banas for TCU and Meyer and Lachappelle make their shots. After Alvarado was stoned by Abby Smith, Arnold's miss in the fourth round opened the door for Johnson, who scored to push the Horned Frogs into the championship tilt Sunday.
There really has to be something said about binding together in the face of the season. Throughout the course of the season, and throughout the spring, the senior group really brought this team together. The group continued to be persistent and resilient.
There are not enough words you can say to thank them. I'm just sorry it didn't end the way we all had hoped.
It was a battle. It's tournament time and everybody is going to battle. We're going to continue to learn from this and allow it to make us stronger.
On lessons learned from the team: I learned that I can trust them. There's a strong backbone to Texas Women's Soccer and I'm very proud to be representing this group of young ladies. The future for Texas Soccer is very bright and I'm very proud to lead this program.
On the foundation laid: It's all about trust and these players buying into the system. It has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with what they represent. The program is much bigger than all of us. We need to be very proud, appreciative and humble. We represent a fantastic academic institution. Every single time we go on the field, we have to make Texas proud.
I certainly think the performance tonight, and throughout the year, did Texas proud.