Soccer preview: Nebraska and Iowa State
Oct. 13, 2009
MATCH #15: Texas (6-6-2, 2-1-2) vs. Nebraska (9-3-4, 2-1-2)
MATCH #16: Texas (6-6-2, 2-1-2) vs. Iowa State (6-5-4, 1-4-0)
About the Series ... Texas and Nebraska hold a series record of 9-9-0 while the Longhorns own a 14-1-1 record over Iowa State. When playing in Austin against the Huskers, Texas holds a 5-2-0 advantage and have won three straight at home. The Horns have not suffered a loss to ISU since 1999 and have posted an 11-0-1 record since that time.
UT in Big 12 Conference Play .. The Longhorns boast a Big 12 record of 68-25-10 (.709) since Petrucelli arrived on campus in 1999 and have finished in the top three in seven of those 10 years. The Longhorn mentor also carries the second-highest conference winning percentage (.709) among current Big 12 coaches.
Underclassmen making immediate impact ... UT's freshmen and sophomores have made an immediate impact for the Horns through 14 games this season. Fourteen of UT's 17 goals have come from the underclassmen while the group also accounts for 98 of Texas' 144 starting positions (.681) over the first 14 matches. Eight of UT's 11 starting jobs are taken by sophomores or freshmen.
Defense Makes the Difference ... Since starting the season 3-5-0, the Longhorns have now posted a record of 3-1-2 and one of the leading reasons for the turnaround can be found on the defensive end of the field. During the first nine matches, UT gave up 15 goals, but has since only allowed four.
Birkhold Bringing It ... Junior Kirsten Birkhold has stepped up during her third year setting career highs in goals (two), assists (two) and points (six). The Phoenix, Ariz., native has started in five of 14 matches and is one of six Horns to score more than once this season. All of Birkhold's points have occurred in matches where she came off the bench as well.
Longhorns Seeing Double ... Six Longhorns have posted two or more goals so far this season. Sophomore Kylie Doniak leads the way with four. Junior Kirsten Birkhold, sophomores Leah Payne and Courtney Goodson and freshmen Becka Rivera and Hannah Higgins have all found the back of the net twice this year.
Myers Advantage ... The Longhorns host 12 opponents during the 2009 season, marking the most home matches in program history. Since 2002, Texas has posted a home record of 61-9-8 (.833) since 2002 and owns a record of 80-19-9 (.782) since Myers opened in 1999.
Gaul named Big 12 Player of the Week ... Freshman keeper Alexa Gaul picked up her first conference accolade as a Longhorn as she was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for games played Oct. 2-4. Gaul made 12 saves, including a career-high seven against Kansas (Oct. 4), while playing in all 200 minutes over the weekend.
Spreading the Offense Around ... Nine different Longhorns account for the Longhorns' 17 goals this season. Of that group, seven are underclassmen (three freshmen, four sophomores), two have been from players off the bench, two from the midfield and one from the defense.
Last Time Out vs. Oklahoma State (Oct. 11) ... Texas posted a 1-0 loss to Oklahoma State University Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex in Stillwater, Okla. OSU netted the gamewinner in the 62nd minute on a deflected clear from the UT backline. Texas suffered its first Big 12 loss of the season and first defeat since Sept. 20.
Doniak for Most Improved ... The sophomore midfielder has made a name for herself this season as she currently leads the team in points, with nine, off four goals scored and one assist. Despite only playing in 12 of UT's 14 matches this year, Doniak has set a career-high with four goals. A year ago, Doniak posted four points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 20 matches.
Shuffling the Line-up ... In 14 games this year, the Longhorns have used 10 different starting line-ups including a new line-up over each of the last six matches. Only four Horns have started in every match, three of which reside on the backline - Erica Campanelli (Def.), Kristin Cummins (Mid.), Emily Anderson (Def.) and Leah Payne (Def.).