Longhorns upset No. 8 UCLA

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Senior forward Kelsey Shimmick scored Texas’ first offensive goal of the season four minutes into Texas’ game against No. 8 UCLA on Sunday night. Texas would go on to upset the Bruins 2-1.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Carpenter | Daily Texan Staff

It took a little more than 48 hours and 111 miles for Texas to feel like a winner again.

Friday night, the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos put a lasso on the Longhorns with a 2-0 upset.

Angela Kelly called the loss disappointing. Texas’ pattern of not being able to score through the first 380 minutes of the season, Texas could muster only one goal.

That lone goal came from senior goalkeeper Abby Smith in the first game of the season. The position notorious for stopping goals was Texas’ only offense through four games.

But four minutes into Sunday’s match against No. 8 UCLA at Drake Stadium, what was impossible for the Longhorns became possible.

Senior forward Kelsey Shimmick received a through ball from senior defender Ali Schmalz to give Texas an early 1-0 lead.

“[That’s] probably one of the best feelings ever,” Shimmick said. “To just come in and, right at the beginning, score on a team that’s high-ranked and show them that we’re here to play.”

One goal wasn’t enough for Texas; it needed two, especially with Smith giving her best Hope Solo impersonation and finishing the game with a career-high 11 saves.

In the 61st minute, freshman forward Alexa Adams wrestled the ball away from a Bruins defender. The defender fell, and in a domino effect, knocked down goalkeeper Cassie Sternbach to leave the goal and Adams’ eyes wide open.

Adams’ goal — her career first — gave Texas a 2-0 lead.

“Once it went in, I don’t know, my face literally just dropped,” Adams said. “I was so excited, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I just scored!’”

The Bruins’ powerful offense wouldn’t get shut out — they cut the lead to 2-1 in the 76th minute, after midfielder Lauren Kaskie fired a ball that went over Smith’s outstretched arms. In the last 14 minutes of the game, Smith was all over the field trying to preserve Texas’ lead. She did.

“It’s all about how you respond, and after Friday night that was disappointing for us, it was really important for me that we have a really positive response,” Kelly said. “I thought the difference was that we put away our chances early, and we were able to hang on at the end.”

The 2-1 win comes at a key time for Texas. Kelly has stated repeatedly that these matches are to get the team ready for the conference schedule. The win is a huge confidence booster for Texas, especially after the loss to UC-Santa Barbara.

The Longhorns’ goal of a Big 12 crown is hundreds of minutes away. But should they reach it, they can look back at the fourth minute of this game as the beginning of the run.

“I think it shows us that we can compete with anyone in the nation, and that when we come out and play as a team, anything’s possible,” Shimmick said. “It shows that hopefully we can pull off a Big 12 championship.”