Soccer preview: No. 12 Virginia and No. 22 William & Mary
Sept. 8, 2010
MATCH #6: Texas (4-0-1) vs. No. 12 Virginia (4-0-1)
MATCH #7: Texas (4-0-1) vs. No. 22 William & Mary (4-0-1)
Road test ... The Longhorns travel to Charlottesville, Va., this weekend for two matches against ranked opponents in No. 12 Virginia and No. 22 William & Mary. It marks the first time since 2004 that Texas has faced back-to-back ranked non-conference opponents on the road - Aug. 27 vs. No. 12 Clemson (L, 1-0) and Aug. 29 vs. No. 20 Michigan (W, 4-1).
Texas in the top 25 ... Since opening the season with an undefeated record of 4-0-1, the Longhorns moved up to No. 19 in the latest SoccerTimes.com coaches poll. Texas is also receiving 38 points in the NSCAA coaches poll, good for 29th and up 21 points (T-33rd) a week ago. The Horns have now been in the poll for two-straight weeks for the first time since Aug. 25, 2009.
Last time out (Navy and UC-Riverside) ... After going down 1-0 in the first half to Navy, the UT offense caught on fire, with five different players scoring five goals in the second half for the win. The Horns posted 25 shots for the second time of the season, including a season-high 17 shots on goal. In the second match of the weekend, the Horns posted a 1-0 victory over UC-Riverside with sophomore Kristin Cummins scoring her first career goal. Texas produced 24 shots marking the second-straight 20+ shot outing.
Playing ranked competition ... No. 12 (NSCAA) Virginia and No. 22 William & Mary are the first ranked opponents Texas will face this year and the first on the road. Texas is 12-19-1 when playing ranked foes away from Myers since Petrucelli's arrival in 1999.
Texas ups the offense ... Texas' first five matches have seen quite the offensive clinic. The Horns have put up over 20 shots in three outings and posted at least one goal in each match. In the 3-1 win over UTSA (Aug. 27), UT tallied 26 shots for its most shots since 2007. Against Navy (Sept. 3), UT notched 25 shots and recorded five goals, for the most goals in a match since 2007. It also marked just the fourth time since 2006 that a UT squad has put up five or more goals in a match. The Horns followed up that outing with a 24-shot showing against UC-Riverside (Sept. 5).
On the attack ... The Longhorns have averaged 17.8 shots per outing through five games so far this season, marking the first time since the 2004 campaign (22.4 spm) that a Texas team has produced an average 17.8 shots or more over the first five matches of the season. Three of the five matches have seen 20+ shots. In addition, UT's averaging 11.2 shots on goal during this span.
Passing it around ... Through five games, nine different athletes account for Texas' 12 goals this year, five of which are newcomers or underclassmen. Redshirt freshman Leah Fortune, sophomore Hannah Higgins and junior Kylie Doniak lead the group with two goals apiece. Freshman Gabby Zarnegar, sophomore Kristin Cummins, juniors Amanda Lisberger and Stacey-Ann Smith and senior Kate Incerto have each tallied one goal this season. The Horns also have 11 assists for a total of 35 points so far this season, an amount which took 11 games to reach a year ago.
Stifling defense ... While the Longhorns have been putting on the offensive pressure, the Texas defense has also stood out allowing two or less shots in two matches so far this season. The feat marks the first time since 2006 that a Texas squad has limited its opponent to two shots or less twice in a season.
Young line-up ... The first five 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).