Soccer stopped by defending National Champion Portland, 2-0
AUSTIN, Texas -- The best season on record for the No. 5 Texas Soccer team came to an end Sunday, Nov. 19, as the Longhorns dropped a 2-0 third-round match in the 2006 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship to defending national champion Portland. The Pilots edged Texas, 2-0, in the NCAA round of 16 played in front of 1,932 fans at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The Pilots, which move on to the NCAA quarterfinals (round of eight) to face UCLA, received an early goal from junior Rachel Rapinoe just 3:14 into the match, and then added an insurance goal late in the second period.
Texas, which gained one of four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tourney, ended the 2006 campaign with an overall record of 18-4-3, the best season on record since the program began in 1994. As 2006 Big 12 Soccer tourney champions, Texas set the school record for wins (18) and for road victories with seven. The top national seed also was a first for the Longhorns program.
Portland improves its record to 17-3-3 and now leads the all-time series against the Longhorns, 8-0-0. Portland advances to face UCLA in the NCAA quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 24 in Los Angeles. With each win, the Pilots get closer to defending their 2005 NCAA College Cup Championship as they are one round away from the 2006 semifinal match.
Portland scored very early on when Rapinoe found the back of the net on a pass from junior Natalie Budge just three minutes, 14 seconds into the match. The goal by Rapinoe was her 11th of the year, second-best on the squad.
Holding the 1-0 lead until late in the match, the Pilots extended their advantage over UT to 2-0 with 8:05 remaining on the clock as junior Angie Woznuk found Budge outside of the box for her ninth tally of the season.
Throughout the match, however, Texas put up a strong fight, continually pressing the Pilots backline and putting them on their heels. UT took 10 shots in each half, including six first-half shots by junior forward Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas). In a span of two minutes midway through the first half (from 13:36 into the match on), the Longhorns took four shots directly on goal, with three of them saved or blocked by the UP defense.
"I thought it was a very entertaining, quality game," said Petrucelli. "We played great. It's one of the best games we've played all year against a real quality opponent and I was proud of our team. They played hard right until the end. It's tough when you go behind early, like we did, but we were still fighting until the end. It's a little disappointing that you can feel like you played really well and come away with a result like this. Soccer is a funny game sometimes, and today may have been one of those days."
"(Rapinoe) took a touch and finished a great ball," said Texas second-year goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger. "She hit a really well-driven ball and well-placed shot and those are the hardest to get to, so she did really well to finish that. The second shot was again another great finish. I did my best to stop both of them but sometimes you can't. I don't know that I really could have played either one of their goals differently. It's just unfortunate that we couldn't get a couple as well."
The Texas defense was strong, holding Portland to two shots and one corner kick in the opening period, and 12 shots and five corner kicks overall.
Pfenninger (Sugar Land, Texas) allowed two goals for just the fourth time in 23 games this season. She registered five saves.
Pilots senior Cori Alexander, the 2005 NCAA College Cup Defensive Most Valuable Player, had nine saves in posting her seventh shutout of the year. Rapinoe led the UP attack with four shots, including three on goal.
The fouls were even as Portland was whistled four times and UT was called for five fouls.
It marks just the fourth time in 25 matches this year that the Longhorns were shut out. The loss is the first since a 1-0 defeat at home against Oklahoma State on Friday, Sept. 29 and just the second loss to a ranked opponent in 2006. During the stretch between losses, UT went 10-0-2, including a nine-match winning streak that tied the second longest stretch in school history.
Eighth-year UT head coach Chris Petrucelli had a special highlight this year as he won his 100th game as Texas head coach in a 1-0 decision over Missouri on Friday, Oct. 20.
The Longhorns had advanced to the third round for the second time in program history by defeating LIU, 4-0, on Friday, Nov. 10. In the second round, UT tied Connecticut, 1-1, but advanced to Sunday's third round game after beating the Huskies, 3-1, in penalty kicks.
That's why I brought Lisa Sari in here. Because Lisa plays in a position for this team that goes unnoticed at times because if she does her job right, it stops an attack. If she does her job right and we're on offense, she has good positioning to stop an attack. With an early goal like, we had to day, you know Texas only has one thing that they need to do and that's equalize. They're willing to take a few more chances to get after the game a little bit, and Lisa Sari is here because she's stops 95% of those attacks on her own... and very few people notice it or mention it, but today was a big day."
Portland Junior Forward Rachel Rapinoe
It's always a relief to get (a goal) in early.
Portland Senior Goalkeeper Cori Alexander
It's just like practice. They shoot on goal, I make my saves. That's all you've got to do. That's a lot of shots, but they're out there working their butts off, the least I can do is make a save here or there. But that's what I train for, every game doesn't end up that way, but if it does I'm prepared.
Texas Head Coach Chris Petrucelli
(Rachel) Rapinoe scored a beautiful goal. No one has scored a goal like that all year against us and I don't know if anyone scored a goal like that on this field before. She hit the ball with a ton of pace and got the shot off quickly. She put it in the right spot. I felt like we were fine and we were playing well but she got a chance and stuck it in. That's typical of Portland teams over the years -- they don't necessarily create a ton of goal scoring chances, but they're good at finishing and they certainly did that today.
"We certainly got the ball into dangerous spaces for most of the game and we were close to breaking them down. I thought especially in the first half, (Portland goalkeeper Cor Alexander) made a few really good saves. For instance the header Kelsey had toward the bottom of the post that would have evened the game at that point. We went into half-time feeling pretty good. I'm sure going into the game there were some questions about whether or not we could play with a team like Portland but we answered those questions early. We felt like we were in the game. But we just couldn't put the ball in the goal. From 18-18 we were certainly as good, but they scored two we didn't score any.
Junior Forward Kelsey Carpenter
It's a little frustrating when you're down a goal five minutes into the game. You start to play with a little bit of urgency and try to keep it calm, and play calm and collected but when you're down a goal sometimes you have to step up a level and respond to the goal but nothing went in for us.
Their goalkeeper (Alexander) came out big today. I think she had some really good saves. Some of our shots weren't even on target but (there were a few) that were. She's a quality keeper she had some great saves that maybe different goalkeeper wouldn't have gotten a hand on. I give her credit.
Sophomore Goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger
Well there were a couple of times I thought for sure that we were going to score. It's tough playing in a position where you're mostly involved in one side of the game and that's defensively. At the same time you have faith in your team and I did. Portland played well too and you have to hand it to them. They had some great defensive plays and it's just unlucky that we didn't get one or two past them."