McDonald leads Soccer past Kansas in double overtime
SAN ANTONIO -- Senior Kelly McDonald (Littleton, Colo.) scored with just over two minutes remaining in double-overtime to complete a comeback from two goals down and lift No. 21 Texas (13-5-2) to a 3-2 win over No. 7 Kansas (17-4) in front of a crowd of 1,697 during the semifinals of the 2004 Big 12 Tournament at the Blossom Athletic Complex on Friday, Nov. 5. With their second come-from-behind victory of the season to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games, the Longhorns advance to the Big 12 Tournament Championship match on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. Central to mark the program's second-ever appearance in the tourney championship tilt.
A defensive struggle from the outset, neither side managed a shot until 11 minutes into the match. Then, despite UT holding the upper hand in both shots and time of possession, Kansas broke on top 1-0 at 31:03 when a free kick from 20 yards out taken by Lauren Williams was headed over the outstretched arms of Texas goalkeeper Alex Gagarin (Austin, Texas) by Caroline Smith. Working off the momentum of grabbing the lead, Kansas again applied pressure to the UT net, but the Horns' defense held strong and allowed its offense to generate some chances on the other end. Although, the Longhorns would outshoot the Jayhawks by a 12-8 margin during the period, KU maintained its one goal lead at the intermission.
In the second half, the Jayhawks would up their lead to 2-0 in the opening minutes on the first shot of the period as Monica Brother broke free from eight yards out off a pair of touches from Williams and Smith and deposited a shot inside the far post of the Texas net. While KU would again pace the action for a few minutes after the score, Texas asserted itself offensively soon after. While holding the upper hand in shots by a 17-7 margin in the period, the Horns had their first quality opportunities in the 26th minute as Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Texas) and Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas) both produced point-blank shots, but Kansas goalkeeper Meghan Miller turned aside both to keep the two-goal cushion in tact. Then, at 70:12, Ashley Foster (Athens, Ga.) put Texas on the board as she vollied a feed from Wilson and Amy Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif.) from four yards out into the back of the KU net for her fifth goal of the season. Now trailing by one, the Horns received their next chance with eight minutes to go as Kelly McDonald rocketed a shot toward the near corner from inside the box, but Miller made a diving save to keep the Jayhawks in front.
With Texas still looking for the equalizer within the final six minutes, Wilson made a move into the KU penalty area at 83:21 on the left side and was hauled down to set up a penalty kick. Taking the shot herself, Wilson buried it into the low left corner to knot the game at 2-2. The deadlock would last through the end of the half and send the contest into overtime. While the first extra session saw KU out shoot the Horns by a 5-1 margin, neither side was able to capitalize and the two squads headed to double overtime for the second time in two matchups between the two teams this season.
In the second overtime, again both sides produced some chances, but with 2:04 left, McDonald settled a feed from Wilson and Nikki Thaden (Clive, Iowa), split two Kansas defenders and ripped a shot past Miller for the game-winner. In goal, Gagarin, who tallied seven saves, picked up the win, while Miller incurred only her fourth loss of the season despite making 10 stops.
Headlining the Longhorns' offense, which tallied 33 shots on the evening, was Wilson, who collected four points on one goal and two assists, and McDonald, who fired four of her team-best six shots on goal and tallied her 12th career game-winning score to tie for all-time school record in that category. Kansas, meanwhile, had its attack paced by Smith, who took a game-best eight shots while scoring once and recording one assist. Notably for UT, Wilson's effort not only tied her for the UT single-season record for goals (14), but also gave her the school's season record for points (41).
Up next, the Horns will face No. 8 Texas A&M in the 2004 Big 12 Tournament Championship game at the Blossom Athletic Complex on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. Central. Of note, the game will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net.