Soccer downs Oklahoma State to advance to Big 12 Championship game
SAN ANTONIO -- Third-seeded University of Texas avenged its only regular season league loss of the year Friday evening as the Longhorns upset No. 2 seed Oklahoma State 2-0 in a semifinal match of the 2006 Big 12 Soccer Championship taking place at Blossom Soccer Stadium. Junior Kelsey Carpenter netted UT's first goal 40 minutes into the match, and freshman Emily Anderson added UT's second goal five minutes into the second half.
The Longhorns, 17-3-1 overall and ranked No. 9 nationally, move into the Big 12 Championship Game on Sunday, Nov. 5 and will face fifth-seeded Colorado (12-5-3) at 1 p.m. in a tape-delayed FSN television broadcast match. The winner of that game gains the Big 12's automatic berth to the 64-team NCAA Championships, which begin next weekend. The seedings, pairings and host sites for the NCAA tourney will be announced on Monday afternoon (Nov. 6).
UT, under the guidance of eighth-year head coach Chris Petrucelli, is now 17-3-1 overall and 13-1-1 in the last 15 matches as it extends its winning streak to nine games. The win was Texas' 10th by shutout on the year.
The Buffs earned their championships berth and ended No. 1 seed Texas A&M's title defense with a 3-2 overtime victory in Friday's first semifinal of the day. The Buffs are ranked No. 23 in the nation while the Aggies, (14-5-1) were ranked seventh nationally.
Texas will play for the Big 12 tournament title for the third time in program history. UT appeared in the championship match in 2001 and 2004, losing both contests to Texas A&M. The Longhorns were shutout by an eighth-ranked Aggie team, 1-0 ( in 2001) and 3-0 (in 2004).
Carpenter (Allen, Texas) netted her 13th goal of the season and school-record, eighth game-winning goal of the year 40 minutes, 20 seconds into the match. Senior Priscilla Fite started the play with a header to senior Amy Burlingham, and Burlingham crossed the ball into Carpenter, who then headed the ball in from the center of the box.
"It was a great goal by Kelsey," said Petrucelli. "Amy came out of nowhere to get the ball in and Kelsey just put it away."
"Heading the ball in is not my typical goal-scoring situation," commented Carpenter. "Amy served a great ball in and I just tried to put it in the net. Like I said the other night, I don't care who scores the goals as long as we win the game."
Freshman Emily Anderson (Austin, Texas) extended UT's lead to 2-0 early in the second period by scoring at the 48:59 mark. It was the third goal of her career. Anderson one-touched a rebound that deflected off junior Caitlin Kennedy and put it past OSU goalkeeper Erin Stigler for the score.
"It was awesome to score tonight," Anderson said. "I wanted to contribute in some way -- that was one of my goals for the season."
"We've been really good all year when we've gotten a lead," said Petrucelli. "At 1-0 it was shaky, but with Emily's goal to make it 2-0, I felt better."
Sophomore goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger registering four saves and earning her seventh shutout of the year. She is now the all-time single season wins leader, notching her 15 victory of 2006, and stands third on the Texas all-time list with 24 career victories.
UT continued its record-breaking streak. The 10th shutout is a school record (old mark was eight), and the shutout also marked the third consecutive game in which the Longhorns kept their opponent out of the scoring column. It also was the fifth time in the last seven matches that the Longhorns have registered a shutout.
"I'm really satisfied with where we are at defensively," Petrucelli stated. "They are good and I think we will continue to play well."
NOTES: Sunday's championship game is a rematch of last year's Big 12 tourney semifinal in which the Buffs defeated the Longhorns, 3-2 in overtime. UT enters the match 9-3-1 against Colorado .. This year, the No. 18 Longhorns defeated the No. 14 Buffs, 2-1, on Oct. 8 in Boulder, Colo.
Both teams were ranked seventh in the national polls... Carpenter moves into fifth place on the all-time points list with her 30th point tonight. She is tied for fourth with Kelly Wilson (2001) for goals in a single season with 13.