Janine Beckie

Junior goalkeeper Abby Smith and the Longhorns went just 6-7 in their final 13 regular season games, but they are focused on turning things around in the Big 12 tournament.

Photo Credit: Mike McGraw | Daily Texan Staff

Texas women’s soccer sailed through the first six games of the season without making an appearance in the loser’s column.  

However, the Longhorns’ remaining 13 games were a turbulent series of contests that saw Texas go 6-7-0, including a 3-1 road loss at the hands of a struggling TCU team and a loss against Oklahoma State to close out the regular season.  

None of that will matter Wednesday. The Longhorns can forget their tumultuous regular season and look to make an impact in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 tournament against No. 10 Texas Tech at 2 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We have a new season starting on Wednesday in the Big 12 tournament, and that’s our focus,” senior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle said. “We’re going to put [the Oklahoma State loss] behind us and go and win that tournament.”

The Longhorns and Red Raiders met in Austin in a September tilt that served as the high-water mark in Texas’ 2014 campaign. That contest saw freshman Olivia Brook score the golden goal, which led Texas to an overtime upset against a 9-0 Red Raider team that was the sixth-ranked team in the nation at the time.

Things slowly went downhill from that point in the season, but the Longhorns have gone through somewhat of resurgence in recent weeks. They knocked off Oklahoma and Baylor in consecutive road contests during the waning games of the season, and the once stagnant offense showed some welcome signs of life toward the end of the season.

The Red Raiders are coming in to the tournament on a torrid streak of four consecutive wins, including a 6-1 dismantling of Iowa State on Sunday.

The Texas Tech offense has been on point all season, averaging 1.94 goals and 17.6 shots per game. Junior forward Janine Beckie, the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, spearheads the Red Raider attack with a team-leading 13 goals.

The Longhorn defense, led by senior defender Brooke Gilbert, has the challenge of going against one of the most balanced teams in the conference. Senior defender Jaelene Hinkle of Texas Tech earned her fourth first-team All-Big 12 selection and was one of six Red Raiders on All-Big 12 teams.

If the Longhorns are to deal a second loss to end the Red Raiders’ season, it will likely come at the gloves of junior goalkeeper Abby Smith. She closed the regular season with a career-high 10-save performance against Oklahoma State, helping earn her first team All-Big 12 honors.

Even if Texas isn’t able to beat Texas Tech, it still has a slim chance of making the NCAA tournament, but the Longhorns’ spot will only be guaranteed if they can pull off a victory in the quarterfinal round and then go on to become Big 12 champions.

“The season is just beginning,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “Everybody’s heading to Kansas City to win the tournament. We’re going to take it [one] game at a time.”

Texas soccer finished its regular season campaign with a 1-0 loss at No. 12 Texas Tech on Friday night.

While sophomore goalie Abby Smith had one of her best games of the year, an early misplay doomed the Longhorns.

In the third minute, Smith misjudged a long Red Raiders pass, allowing Tech’s Janine Beckie to put home an uncontested goal. Bouncing back, Smith redeemed herself with saves in the 16th and 20th minute to keep the Texas Tech lead to only one point.

But the Longhorn offense found it difficult to get anything going against the Red Raiders. After outshooting opponents 269 to 168 coming into the match, Texas only managed to fire off eight total shots and only two of those coming on goal, both in the first half.

The Red Raiders, on the other hand, had no problem with their offense, firing off 17 total shots, including eight shots on goal. Beckie led Texas Tech with three shots on goal and the lone goal of the game.

It was also a physical game with both teams combining for 25 fouls and six yellow cards. Sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick received a red card in the 77th minute for a high boot into the Red Raider goalie.

With the loss, Texas (12-5-2, 5-2-1 Big 12) finishes third in the Big 12, the highest its finished in the conference since 2007. The Longhorns’ conference record is the team’s best since 2008.

Texas will face Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo. The Longhorns managed a draw in their lone meeting against the Cowgirls in Stillwater, Okla., earlier this year.