Midfielder Julia Dyche enlivens soccer team atmosphere

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Junior midfielder Julia Dyche began to play soccer at four. She grew up playing basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field. Ultimately, soccer took her heart. 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns’ season is consistently inconsistent through 11 games.

They have a 4-3-4 record, they’ve had great wins — upsetting UCLA — and bad losses — a 2-0 defeat at the hands of University of California- Santa Barbara.

There are times when the mood in the locker room can be darkened.

Then, junior midfielder Julia Dyche spontaneously erupts in a dance and it lightens the mood.

“It makes people laugh,” senior goalkeeper Abby Smith said.

There isn’t a concrete explanation to Dyche’s methods. It’s who she is.

“It’s kind of like she doesn’t really care,” Smith said. “She does the awkward things to make people more comfortable.”

Dyche hasn’t been dancing for very long — she simply loves doing it.

“But everyone on the team will tell you that I’m a horrible dancer,” Dyche said. “And pretty much all my friends make fun of me for it.”

While her friends might make jokes about her dancing abilities, she won’t be made fun of for her soccer skills. Dyche picked up the sport when she was four years old, playing for a YMCA team called The Lady Bugs. She didn’t wear a headband back then, instead sporting a giant red bow on her head.

She tried basketball, she played volleyball, she did cross-country and ran track. But soccer filled her heart.

“I guess I’m a really competitive person,” Dyche said. “I think soccer, because it’s a contact sport, was the first chance I got to be competitive, and I think that’s why I fell in love with it.”

She dropped everything but soccer in eighth grade. She played for her high school team and her club team which was coached by Ryan Higginbotham — TCU’s assistant coach. Dyche and Smith played for the same club team but in different age groups.

They became friends and have become closer since they first arrived at Texas. They would text each other, go to dinner and eat sushi — even though Dyche doesn’t like sushi.

“Sophomore year, when she was in the dorm, she would always come to our apartment to hang out,” Smith said.

Now, both are ready to take on TCU and Higginbotham on Sunday — but first they’ll play Iowa State on Friday night.

When asked about what it’ll be like to play against Higginbotham, Dyche wasn’t nervous.

“It will be good to see him,” Dyche said.