Soccer dumps Nebraska in first round of Big 12 Tournament
SAN ANTONIO -- A pair of first-half goals from senior forward Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Texas) and a five-save, shutout effort turned in by senior goalkeeper Alex Gagarin (Austin, Texas) propelled No. 21 Texas (12-5-2) to a 2-0 victory over Nebraska (12-8) in front of 495 fans during the opening round of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament at the Blossom Athletic Complex on Wednesday, Nov. 3. With the win, UT advances to the tourney semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons and will now face No. 7 Kansas (17-3) on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. Central.
Nebraska pressured the Texas defense early in the first half and created a quality chance within the first 10 minutes as Jetta Sandusky broke in alone on Gagarin from eight yards out, but the Texas keeper came out, cut down the angle and saved the early chance. From there, the Longhorns continued to clash with the Huskers in a time-of-possession battle until the 34th minute when Wilson ran onto a slotted ball from Ashley Foster (Athens, Ga.) and set up by Carrie Schmit's (La Mesa, Calif.) direct pass that beat Nebraska goalkeeper Katie Wright inside the far post to stake UT to a 1-0 lead. Less than four minutes later, Wilson struck again as she corralled a bounding ball from Kristen Teter (Kingwood, Texas) inside the Huskers' penalty area, flicked a shot past Wright that was kicked off the goal line by an NU defender, and then intercepted the short rebound before finding the back of the net to give Texas a 2-0 advantage. The Texas defense then held the Huskers in check for the remainder of the opening period with the Horns still up two goals.
In the second half, UT continued to attack the Nebraska net by outshooting the Huskers by a 13-5 margin while the Texas defense and Gagarin turned aside every Huskers' opportunity to preserve the 2-0 shutout victory. While Gagarin, who posted five saves on the day, earned the win to help UT notch its seventh shutout of 2004 and its fourth in the last five matches, Wright incurred the loss despite making six stops on the afternoon.
Paving the way for the Texas offense was Wilson, who not only fired six of her game-high seven shots on goal while tallying her third game-winning goal in the last four games, but also set the school career record for game-winning scores (12). Nebraska, meanwhile, had its nine-shot attack led by Abby Penas, who recorded two of the Huskers' five shots on goal.
Up next, the Horns square off with No. 7 Kansas during the semifinal round of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament at the Blossom Athletic Complex on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. Central in a match that will be televised "live" on Fox Sports Net.