Kelsey Shimmick

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Texas soccer surpassed preseason expectations during its conference matchups, finishing third in the Big 12 instead of a projected sixth, despite its core offense consisting of underclassmen. 

Now, coming off a loss to Texas Tech, the young team must rally as it takes on Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Wednesday.

“This is cup time,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “It’s do or die, and we have to win. Our sense of urgency has to go up, but at the same time have the same philosophy that we’ve shared since day one. We have to execute and take care of everything. There’s no added preparation or pressure. [We] just have to go after it.”

In 2012, Texas lost in the semifinals to TCU in a 4-2 shootout after a scoreless game.

Last season the team finished with a poor 8-10-2 overall record, including a mere 4-4 record in the Big 12. This year’s team improved its overall record to 12-5-2 and 5-2-1 in conference. The only two conference losses came to West Virginia and Texas Tech, the two teams ranked higher than Texas.

Despite going into the tournament coming off a loss, sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick doesn’t think that will affect the outcome.

“I don’t think it gave us a bad mindset,” Shimmick said. “It lit a fire under us. We like our chances if we have to play them again, because they didn’t see the real Texas Longhorns. We can beat any team in the tournament.”

A young team, most of Texas’ statistical leaders are sophomores and juniors. Three freshmen have scored at least one goal, and the only senior to log real playing time this season is midfielder Gabby Zarnegar, who has two goals and four assists.

Shimmick’s four goals put her in a tie for the team lead, along with junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle, sophomore midfielder Lindsey Meyer and junior defender Brooke Gilbert. Sophomore forward Chantale Campbell, who has three goals of her own, leads the team in assists with five.

Kelly said her team is dynamic all over the field and that makes it hard for other teams to keep up.

“They look at the personalities and have to figure out how to stop us,” Kelly said. “How are they going to stop Abby Smith’s distribution? How are they going to break down our backs? How are they going to deal with Kelsey, Sharis and Chantale?”

Meyer believes the team is prepared for the tournament, but knows progressing in the tournament will add challenges.

“The way we’re looking at it is one game at a time,” Meyer said. “We’re focusing only on Oklahoma State. Our coaches have been helping us take care of our bodies to play three games in six days.”

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

For the second straight season, the Longhorns opened up their conference schedule with a pair of dominating wins, beating TCU 2-0 and Iowa State 3-1 this weekend.

After a 45-minute rain delay Friday night, the Longhorns (8-3-1) got off to a fast start against the Horned Frogs. In the fourth minute, junior defender Whitney Jaynes got a shot off from 40 yards out that caught the TCU keeper off guard and found the upper corner of the net.

“I just shot it into the upper 90 hoping someone would get a head on it,” Jaynes said.

Texas got some breathing room in the 62nd minute when sophomore forward Sydney Shutter headed in a cross from sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick to make it 2-0 in favor of the Longhorns.

The win was the Longhorns’ first against TCU in Big 12 play. TCU won both meetings last year, including a penalty kick win in the conference semifinals.

Texas continued to pressure the TCU offense, outshooting TCU 11-7 and getting four shots on goal. Freshman forward Marchelle Davis led the team with four shots in the game.

The Longhorns faced a tougher challenge Sunday against the Cyclones. Unlike its previous three games, Texas found itself defending more often than scoring in the first half. Despite getting three shots on goal, the Longhorns went into the second half scoreless.

Head coach Angela Kelly said she told the team at halftime that it was going to be a physical game.

“This was a game of physicality and winning your battles,” Kelly said. “If you’re a competitor, you love this type of game.”

Five minutes into the second half, sophomore midfielder Chantale Campbell put the Longhorns on the board, heading in a cross from sophomore midfielder Lindsey Meyer.

Davis said that goal gave the team some relief going forward in the game.

“After that, we were like, ‘We can get another one and another one,’” Davis said.

Almost 15 minutes later, Davis scored the second one for the Longhorns. After receiving a ground pass from Shimmick, Davis found herself with only the keeper to beat and scored her first goal of her Texas career.

“I knew it was an easy chance and I had to take it,” Davis said.

Iowa State got on the board with seven minutes left in the game with a goal from Jessica Reyes. The goal ended Texas’ streak of 360 minutes without allowing a goal. Junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle put Texas back up by two a minute later with a corner kick that found the net
untouched.

Despite the slow start, the Longhorns finished the game with a season-high 11 shots on goal while holding Iowa State to only five.

With a 2-0 record in
conference play, Texas is tied with West Virginia at the top of the Big 12 standings after the first weekend of Big 12 play. The Longhorns travel to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers Friday before playing at Kansas
on Sunday.

Kelly said that they’re going to treat the match against West Virginia like an NCAA tournament game.

“This is like an NCAA first or second round game to me,” Kelly said. “That’s what it’s like.”

Kelsey Schimmick at the UT versus UTSA game September 23.

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns ran through their non-conference schedule with relative ease, but things are about to change when TCU and Iowa State come to Austin this weekend to open the Big 12 slate. 

Texas compiled a 6-3-1 record and 17 goals through 10 games, but the level of competition is going to be more difficult
in conference.

“Now the real season begins,” head coach Angela Kelly said.

The Longhorns enter the conference schedule looking to improve on last season — where they fell one game short of the Big 12 championship game, losing to TCU in a penalty shoot-out in the semifinals. Texas finished the season at 8-10-2 overall and held a 4-4 record in the
Big 12.

“We had an opportunity in that game to put it away and we didn’t,” Kelly said.

So far this season, the Longhorns appear to be directing themselves toward a stronger finish.

The team has already almost matched its win total from last season, has netted nearly two-thirds the goals and out-shot its opponents in all but one match.

Sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick and junior defender Brooke Gilbert lead with four goals each, with six other players scoring so far this season, just one fewer than in 2012. 

Coach Kelly said a versatile attacking unit is key for the team’s success.

“That makes it very hard to defend,” Kelly said. “It’s not very predictable when one of our top leading scorers is our center back.”

The Longhorns rank near the top in both goals and shots on goal in the Big 12, but Baylor, Texas Tech and West Virginia enter the conference schedule ranked in the Top 25 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America standings. Texas went 0-3 against the trio
last year.

Shimmick said the challenge will be to add variety to the offense, but still make the attack familiar.

“Everyone is looking at what you’re doing, so you have to mix it up,” Shimmick said. “But when we play how we’re used to and able to, we do great things.”

The Longhorns’ schedule will begin with a rematch of the Big 12 semis against TCU Friday. The Horned Frogs swept the teams’ two matchups last season, but one of the Longhorns’ goals this season is to protect their home field.

“[We want] to continue to maintain home-field advantage and
defend our home turf,”
Kelly said. 

With a 5-0-1 record at home so far in 2013, Texas has already totaled the number of home wins from last season, in which it finished at just 5-5-1 while only managing two Big 12 home wins.

A Big 12 championship won’t be easy, but the Longhorns are ready to rebound from last season.

“We got close to winning it last year and I think this year we have an even better chance,”
Shimmick said.

Texas soccer split its matches in a rainy Colorado Springs, Colo., this weekend, taking home a 3-1 win over the Air Force Academiy Friday, but falling to Colorado College 2-0 on Sunday.

“I’m really pleased with the result and that the players organized keeping possession of the ball in the second half,” said head coach Angela Kelly after the Air Force game.

In the match against the Falcons, the Longhorns went down early, allowing a goal in the 10th minute by Maddie Lundberg. But Texas evened the score just four minutes later as sophomore Kelsey Shimmick landed a shot in the upper-left corner of the net off a pass from freshman forward Marchelle Davis.

The game remained even for the rest of the first half, but a substitution to start Jasmine Hart in the second half proved productive when the freshman forward sunk two goals in six minutes.

“Jasmine Hart, two big-time goals, she really had a lot of composure, big time,” Kelly said. 

The first goal came after sophomore midfielder Lindsey Meyer’s goal kick, which snuck past the Falcons’ defense, where Hart quickly shot the ball from 25 yards out. Moments later, sophomore defender Ali Schmalz cleared a ball past the defensive line again, and Hart managed the goal from 25 yards away.

“I scored both of them from crossing the ball and I realized if we’re going to get the ball over the top then that’s our easiest way to score,” Hart said of her first two career goals.

The team did not have as much of an offensive spark against Colorado College, playing in the pouring rain after a nearly three-hour delay. The game was postponed in the sixth minute and moved from a grass field to a turf surface.

Colorado College’s Jessie Ayers scored in the 59th minute and junior Kaeli Vandersluis added insurance in the 83rd.

This was the first game of the season that Texas did not outshoot its opponent, only recording nine to the Tigers’ 15, but it did manage more shots on goal with seven to their four. Shimmick led the team with three shots, two on goal, but was unable to turn them into points.

Texas soccer finally capitalized on outshooting its opponent this weekend, beating Samford 2-0 on Friday and Illinois State 2-1 on Sunday at Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium.

“It’s definitely a good way to respond, especially from our weekend in Oregon that was not what we were looking for,” junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle said after beating Illinois State. “We have better momentum going into home games and we knew that we had to execute.”

The Longhorns had 12 shots to Samford’s seven, which helped enable both sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick and senior midfielder Gabby Zarnegar to land goals in the first half. Both scores were the two players’ firsts this season.

Shimmick’s goal came in the 18th minute on a rebound after Samford’s keeper couldn’t hold on to freshman defender Isabelle Kerr’s corner.

Zarnegar capitalized on a one-touch shot off a cross from freshman midfielder Katie Gernsbacher.

Illinois State provided more of a challenge for Texas. Despite a goal in the second minute of the match by Illinois State’s Rachel Tejada, the Longhorns responded with two first-half goals as they outshot the Redbirds 20-8.

Lachappelle evened the score in the 12th minute with a header on an assist by Shimmick. In the 43rd minute, junior defender Brooke Gilbert got a header off a Kerr corner kick to give Texas a 2-1 halftime lead.

The Redbirds had a chance to even the score late, after they were awarded a penalty kick in the 86th minute. Tejada took the shot, but sophomore goalkeeper Abby Smith guessed right, preserving the lead.

“I think they did very well to come back with two goals in the same half,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “I think that’s something that perhaps we have not been able to do last year. As the head coach, I see development within the mentality. I see a perseverance and a fortitude.”

Freshman Kelsey Shimmick scored two goals during Texas’ quarterfinal matchup.  Texas moves on to play TCU on Friday.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

Texas and Oklahoma played a close game that was decided by a single goal in September. This time, Wednesday afternoon, the Longhorns came out and made a statement that they are a serious contender for the Big 12 crown with a 3-0 victory over the Sooners.

The three goals were the product of the coming-out-party for freshman Kelsey Shimmick, who scored two goals in the game. She almost completed the hat trick, but the Sooners’ attempts to clear her first shot of the game went in for an own goal.

Less than three minutes later, Chantale Campbell set up Shimmick 14 yards out for another goal to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute. Texas nearly tripled the number of shots of the Sooners and was able to get a lot more pressure on the Oklahoma defense. Only two Oklahoma shots were on goal, and Abby Smith made saves on both of them. The shutout was Smith’s sixth of the season, matching a Texas freshman record.

Both teams exchanged shots throughout the game before Texas put the game away in the 81st minute. Emily Campbell delivered a pass to Shimmick around midfield that turned into a breakaway. Shimmick got past the defense and put the ball past Oklahoma keeper Kelsey Devonshire.

Shimmick’s two-goal game is the fourth by a Texas player in the Big 12 Tournament and the second by a freshman.

Texas will face the winner of the match between No. 1-seeded West Virginia and No. 8 TCU on Friday afternoon in the semifinals.

Printed on Thursday, November 1, 2012 as: Texas dominates, advances to semis