Press box perspectives with Jessica Stamp: Oct. 30
Every week throughout the season, former UCLA and U.S. Under-16 National Team midfielder Jessica Stamp provides color analysis for the Texas Soccer Web Broadcasts and her perspective on the team's performance over the last week. A Houston, Texas, native, Stamp played for the Challenge Soccer Club before winning a Pac-10 Championship and reaching the College Cup Finals as a UCLA Bruin.
While Texas split the weekend, coming away with a win and a loss, the Longhorns saw significant improvement in their offensive shot production in both match-ups. Ironically, Texas took more shots in their 1-0 loss to Oklahoma State than in their 4-0 victory over Oklahoma. The difference in the OU game came in putting the majority of these shots on frame. Twelve of their 19 shots against the Sooners came on goal, resulting in the squad converting four, while only a third of the team's 21 shots against Oklahoma State fell on frame. While the team improved significantly on Friday in producing shots against the Cowgirls, the squad took the offensive pressure even further on Sunday by not only taking a lot of shots, but making those shots more dangerous in forcing the keeper to make a save. Texas scored three of their goals against Oklahoma in those swing periods the last five and first five minutes of each period. The second goal of the match came right before half time, the third right as the second half began, and the fourth right before the game ended. Although the Longhorns tend to start the first five minutes of the game slow, the team turns on the heat during these other times when the opposition breaks down.
While the overall team's offensive production is encouraging leading into the post-season, perhaps the most important aspect of their attack revolves around the number of players involved. Four different players scored against the Sooners with two Longhorns earning their first goals of their careers.
Although the majority of the team's goals come from the two frontrunners and junior defender Kasey Moore, the Longhorns can develop some confidence in their newcomers who are starting to step up when needed. With more players getting into the attack, Texas will have a more well-rounded approach. Too many teams depend upon one talented striker to produce goals in the double digits instead of spreading the offense around to different parts of the field. Obviously, if the star goes down with an injury or is double teamed and well defended by the opposition, then the team is in an unusual position of having to make up for the lack of offense. Teams that have a number of players that can score on a variety of plays will be the most successful in the long run.
However, head coach Chris Petrucelli has successfully dealt with Logterman's absence on numerous occasions as when she missed early games due national team commitments. The squad responded once again in stepping up their play in an attempt to fill the void against the Sooners. The defense allowed just two shots on goal in the match with zero allowed in the second half. The performance on Sunday reveals the team's character in dealing not only with the adversity of playing in a tough environment on the road, but also in dealing with injuries and changes in the lineup. The Longhorns need to maintain this mentality going into their post-season tournaments that will no doubt present the squad with similar situations.
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