Soccer takes down No. 22 OSU to cap legendary day on Forty Acres
Oct. 6, 2012
Dalton Pool, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Soccer team's 1-0 victory against Oklahoma State improved to the Longhorns 3-0-0 in Big 12 Conference play for the first time since 2002, and Hannah Higgins' goal in the 24th minute goal propelled Texas to the win Friday night on what was a special day for women's athletics on the UT campus.
Just two hours before kickoff in Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field, Texas great and former women's basketball head coach and administrator Jody Conradt was honored with the unveiling of her newly minted seven-foot tall bronze statue in the concourse of the Frank Erwin Center. The afternoon celebrated Conradt's career at UT and her role in championing women's athletics after the passage of Title IX.
Among the many distinguished guests in attendance for the statue unveiling was Conradt's good friend and coaching rival Pat Summitt, who worked alongside Texas Soccer head coach Angela Kelly for 16 years as their careers overlapped at the University of Tennessee, before Kelly came to Texas. Kelly knew her mentor was in town and was looking forward to her coming out to support Texas Soccer Friday night.
Summitt was spotted on the sideline for much of the first half, and was even seen throwing up a hook'em horns.
"Turning around and seeing Coach Summitt at halftime was special. I went over and gave her a huge hug and told her how much I loved her," Kelly said. "To be mentored by Coach Summitt and to have the opportunity to observe her experience and knowledge for 16 years was something I will always be thankful for."
Kelly also knew that her good friend and college roommate Mia Hamm was going to be attendance Friday night. Hamm, who has family connections in Austin, brought her three kids to watch the Longhorns pull out the victory over Oklahoma State and stayed afterwards to share a few words of advice with the team.
"Mia is a wonderful, dear friend, and she just happens to be the best and most prolific goal scorer in the history of women's soccer," Kelly said. "What I always tell the girls is that every single day we are working for each other, respecting one another, and working towards a common goal, we are building relationships like the one I have with Mia."
Hamm is a role model for so many young girls, and many of the current Longhorns idolized her growing up, including Higgins.
"It's an honor just have Mia come out here," Higgins said. "When I was younger she was my idol. She was a forward, I was a forward, and I always looked up to her and always wanted to meet her. When I was little I tried getting her autograph a couple times, and now to have her here watching me play is truly a great honor."
The past, present and future of UT women's athletics were on display. Forty years ago in 1972, the same year Mia Hamm was born and one year after Kelly was born, Title IX was passed in the United States.
The law gave women like Conradt and Summitt the opportunity to pursue their coaching dreams. The law opened up the world of sports for little girls like Mia Hamm and Angela Kelly, and allowed them to pursue their athletic dreams throughout college and beyond. The law has shaped women's athletics into what it is today.
Friday at the University of Texas you saw all the faces of Title IX. You saw the pioneers and the innovators in Conradt and Summitt. You saw the stars and the trailblazers in Hamm and Kelly. You saw the competitive contenders in Higgins and the Texas Soccer team. And most importantly in all the little girls cheering on the Longhorns from the sidelines, you saw the future -- the Mia Hamm's of tomorrow.