Soccer preview: Navy and UC-Riverside
Sept. 1, 2010
MATCH #4: Texas (2-0-1) vs. Navy (2-1-1)
MATCH #5: Texas (2-0-1) vs. UC-Riverside (0-2-0)
Texas enters top 25 ... Since opening the season with an undefeated record of 2-0-1, the Longhorns have entered the nation's top 25 with a No. 24 spot on the SoccerTimes.com coaches poll. It marks the first time since Aug. 25, 2009 that UT has been in the top 25.
Last Time Out (USC) ... In the first meeting between two of the nation's top soccer programs, the Longhorns and Trojans of USC played to a 1-1 double-overtime tie. Junior Kylie Doniak, UT's 2009 leading scorer, netted the Horns lone goal in the 18th minute when she headed in a cross from sophomore Sophie Campise. USC equalized the match in the 87th minute forcing the double-overtime tie.
Texas ups the offense ... In Texas' 3-1 victory over UTSA (Aug. 27), the Horns put on an offensive clinic, tallying 26 shots, 14 on goal and forcing the UTSA keeper to make 11 saves. The 26 total shots, including a 16-1 advantage in the first half, are the most by a Texas squad since 2007. In addition, their three goals are the most in a match since 2008 and 14 shots on goal were the most since 2007.
Passing it around ... Through three games, five different athletes account for Texas' six goals this year, three of which are underclassmen. Redshirt freshman Leah Fortune leads the group with two goals while freshman Gabby Zarnegar, sophomore Hannah Higgins, junior Kylie Doniak and senior Kirsten Birkhold have each recorded one each. The Horns also have six assists for a total of 18 points so far this season, an amount which took five games to reach a year ago.
Zarnegar fitting in fast ... Freshman Gabby Zarnegar has not taken her new starting role lightly as she produced a goal in the Horns' season opener at N.C. State and tallied one in UT's exhibition with LSU. The Mission Viejo, Calif., native is one of three freshman starters that will see significant minutes this fall.
Young line-up ... The first three games this season have seen Texas go with a young starting line-up. The Horns are currently starting three true freshmen (Zarnegar, Harris, Pedersen), one redshirt freshman (Fortune), four sophomores (Campise, Higgins, Cummins, Gaul), two juniors (Doniak, Keith) and one senior (Campanelli).
Returning for the Horns... Texas returns 13 players, including eight starters, from last year's squad that advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship. The Horns bring back 79 percent of their starting positions (182 out of a possible 231) and 70 percent of their scoring (49 out of a possible 71 points). The returning 13 have played in a total of 397 games, averaging out to 30.5 games per person. Four of the returners have been part of a Big 12 Championship squad while eight have NCAA Championship experience.
A Brazilian Fortune ... Redshirt freshman Leah Fortune returns to Austin with even more international experience than before as she recently wrapped up the 2010 FIFA U-20 World Cup with Brazil. Fortune, who has been part of Brazil's U-20 team since she was 17, was also a late arrival to the Horns preseason camp as she was with the full Women's National Team as part of the squad's 2011 World Cup training. Fortune was granted a medical redshirt following the 2009 campaign due to a season-ending ankle injury, three matches into the year.
Gaul named to MAC Hermann Watch List ... Sophomore keeper Alexa Gaul is one of 45 players nationally to be named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Watch List. The award is the highest individual award in collegiate soccer. Gaul is the first Horn to be named to the watch list since 2008. The list will be narrowed down to 15 during the season before the three finalists are selected in November.