Soccer spreads the offense around
Sept. 14, 2009
Andy Ortegon, Texas Media Relations
Since the start of the 2009-10 season the Texas Longhorns have had eight different individuals account for the team's ten total goals. Half have been scored by underclassmen, three by midfielders, one by a defender and only two Horns have picked up more than one goal.
The secret, according to head coach Chris Petrucelli, is a possessive mindset combined with a new -found intensity.
"We've been trying to focus on maintaining possession and keeping the ball on our opponents half of the field," the Longhorn mentor said.
That possession along with Coach Petrucelli's recent switch to a 3-4-3 line-up has played a large role in the Horns' recent fervor on the pitch.
"The line-up requires hard work from all the players," he added. "It requires them to move around a lot and cover the field really well, resulting in an overall greater intensity."
And in spite of the general negative connotations surrounding a youthful roster, Coach Petrucelli feels that for the Longhorns it is no longer an issue.
"Due to injuries, we've had to go with some different players, but it has really showed us the dynamic of our bench," Petrucelli explained. "And really, a lot of our team is young, but young and old alike, they are showing a lot of maturity on the field. That's what you really want."
And according to coach, the fact that the majority of the goals have been scored by so many different players is a sign that they are playing well. The Horns' depth has been showcased in the scoring column with two of UT's goals coming from players off the bench and three assists coming from substitutes as well.
"When the ball is spread around and distributed well, you are going to see scoring from all sorts of players, and that's what we hoped for."
But beyond the goals and the recent wins, what Petrucelli is most proud of is the how much the Longhorns are becoming a true team.
"Unless a team is together, they couldn't survive what we've been through. From the injuries to the losses, you have to be strong together to get past it. And as the past couple of games have showed you, when they are together, they can do amazing things."