Freshmen produce as Texas Soccer advances to Big 12 Championship semifinals
Nov. 1, 2012
Dalton Pool, Texas Media Relations
SAN ANTONIO — Kelsey Shimmick had a career day Wednesday afternoon. The freshman from Grapevine, Texas, scored twice and caused an own goal by the Oklahoma defense as the Longhorns defeated the Sooners 3-0 to advance to the Big 12 Championship semifinals.
UT plays TCU, which ousted top-seed West Virginia in the opening round, on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
“Today was a big step,” Shimmick said. “We have been taking baby steps all year, and being able to come into the tournament and take hold of our first game is an awesome feeling. Us freshman are just really excited and doing everything we can for our seniors.”
The first goal for Texas came in the 25th minute as Sharis Lachappelle intercepted a pass around midfield and dribbled down the left side to play a ball to Chantale Campbell, who only used one touch to play a spinning through ball into space for Shimmick. Shimmick then used her pace to track down the ball, dribble toward the endline on the left side of the goal and serve the ball into the six-yard box where Kristin Cummins was waiting. As Cummins went for the ball, an Oklahoma defender accidently sent the ball into her own net.
Just three minutes later, Campbell and Shimmick were at it again. This time the play started with Hannah Higgins, who beat a defender to the endline and slotted a ball back to Campbell, who found herself on the left edge of the six-yard box. Campbell faked towards the line and then turned the ball back towards the middle of the field on her right foot. The turn drew two defenders, but instead of shooting from a tough angel with defenders in front, Campbell cleverly dropped the ball back to Shimmick who was waiting just above the penalty mark. Shimmick then buried the ball into the far left side of the goal with her right foot as the Oklahoma goalkeeper, Kelsey Devonshire, never moved.
After controlling play for much of the rest of the match, Texas finally put away the game in the 81st minute. Again it was a Campbell to Shimmick, but this time it was twin sister and fellow freshman Emilie Campbell with the assist.
After the Oklahoma goalie had come off her line to clear a ball, Lindsey Meyer won the ball in the midfield and Campbell, who had just entered the game, tracked it down and quickly played a 30-yard through ball with her left foot that put Shimmick in behind the defense and one-on-one with a retreating Devonshire. Shimmick pushed the ball into space and saw Devonshire was off her line. Shimmick then managed to curl the ball around the goalkeeper with the outside of her right foot.
“I knew that it was coming and that I could have scored a lot more during the season,” Shimmick said. “Scoring two today and then the own goal on top of that was just amazing, especially since it was on such a big stage.”
The goal was the third of Shimmick’s season and made her the fourth Texas player to score two goals in a Big 12 Championship game. Only one other freshman had accomplished the same task, Kelly McDonald against Iowa State on Nov. 8, 2001.
While Shimmick shined, all of UT’s freshmen were equally important. Chantale Campbell played all 90 minutes and is a real catalyst in the center of the field for the Longhorn offense.
Her probing through balls and simple-possession passing seems to calm Texas and helps to create more quality opportunities in the final third. Campbell has now played the last 232-straight minutes for the Longhorns, and it seems like head coach Angela Kelly is going to rely on her abilities going forward.
“Chantale is a sophisticated player and is really coming into her own,” Kelly said. “And I could say that for all the freshman. They really showed up big today. I was really pleased for them.”
Texas makes its second-straight Big 12 Championship semifinal appearance, and seventh in the last nine years, Friday evening as it continues its quest for the program’s third league postseason title.