Kristin Cummins

Taylor Knaack dribbles the ball during the Longhorns’ 5-1 win over Cal State Northridge on August 28. Texas beat Texas Tech on Wednesday to advance in the Big 12 Tournament in San Antonio. (Daily Texan file photo)

Photo Credit: Danielle Villasana | Daily Texan Staff

You can add another clean sheet to Alexa Gaul’s already impressive resume.

The junior goalkeeper had four saves as fifth-seeded Texas held off fourth-seeded Texas Tech, 1-0, in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament in San Antonio on Wednesday.

The shutout, which came days after Gaul was selected for the All-Big 12 second team, is the 19th of her career and seventh of the season.

“Gaul needs some credit for stonewalling us,” said Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone. “This game was really determined in the first 20 minutes. Texas pushed us around a little bit.”

On offense, the Longhorns only needed Kristin Cummins’ goal in the 11th minute to advance to the semifinals to take on Oklahoma State tomorrow. The No. 2 Cowgirls finished undefeated in the Big 12 this season and are defending Big 12 champions.

The goal, Cummins’ fifth of the season, was set up by a brilliant pass from senior forward Kylie Doniak. Cummins was able to head the ball into the right corner, just out of reach from Red Raider goalkeeper Victoria Esson. Doniak, who missed five games during the season because of a right knee injury, tallied her fifth assist of the season.

“[Doniak] clipped it in, and it was a perfect ball,” Cummins said. “It couldn’t have been any more on the money. I saw the keeper near post, so I knew my only chance was to redirect it to the far post. I think I got enough on it to just get it to the corner.”

The Longhorns go into Friday’s match being one of only two teams that did not lose to Oklahoma State this season, after playing to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 14. 

Soccer

Texas has proven that it has the ability to score in games against Navy, Virginia and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

But in their last three games, they have only scored one goal in total.

The Longhorns, who are 1-2-2 in Big 12 play, need to perform at their highest potential at their away games this weekend against Missouri and Iowa State.

The team, which has only scored twice in Big 12 play, needs to be a threat on offense to keep up with the Tigers, a team with the ability to net goals in a hurry.

Missouri is led by senior forward Alysha Bonnick, who is tied for fifth for the most goals in the Big 12, and the team boasts 10 goals in conference play.

Missouri, last year’s Big 12 champions, split their games last weekend by beating Colorado and losing to Nebraska.

Although they are excellent on offense, their defense is suspect. The Tigers have already given up nine goals in Big 12 play, and to win, Texas will need to capitalize on this deficiency.

“The team focus this season has centered around moving forward,” said Texas sophomore midfielder Kristin Cummins. “For me, I want the ball, I want it in front of the goal and I want it in the back of the net. It’s a simple mentality.”

Though it is simple enough to say, this point of focus has yet to emerge for the Longhorns this season. They have only two goals so far against conference opponents, the fewest goals scored of any team in Big 12 play.

Iowa State, Texas’ opponent on Sunday, is coming off a four-game losing streak against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Colorado.
Iowa State is 11th in the Big 12 with a record of 1-4.

“We want to score four and five goals a game so we can prove that we can score that much,” Cummins said.

However, Texas’ hopes of a high-scoring game will be difficult to manage because Iowa State’s goalie Maddie Jobe has been a very strong player and has the fifth most saves in the Big 12.

“[Scoring multiple goals a game is] hard to do when you play against teams in the Big 12 because their mentality is very defensive, so we are going to have to figure out how to transfer this to our next game,” Cummins said after the team’s win against UW-Milwaukee.

The Longhorns have the upper hand in both all-time series’ records, 11-4-2 versus Missouri and 14-2-1 versus Iowa State.

Stats and records aside, Texas head coach Chris Petrucelli wants to win away from the 40 Acres.

“Iowa State and Missouri are very similar to Baylor in the way that they play, so this was probably good preparation for us,” Petrucelli said last weekend after Texas’ 1-0 win over Baylor. “But we have to go get some wins on the road.” 

Soccer

Sophomore Kristin Cummins, the leading scorer for the Longhorns with five goals on the season, was named Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week. She scored a hat trick for UT last week in their 4–3 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Cummins, a Texas native, graduated from Lewisville High School in three years.

“I decided that I would focus on school and play on the club team. I also trained at a center called Paradigm back home,” Cummins said. “So I was there for a majority of the week. So it was just really hard for me to incorporate [high school soccer] too.”

Cummins has no regrets about graduating early.

“I couldn’t imagine just coming [to UT] this year. But it was hard not being with my friends in my graduating class,” she said. “But at the same time they were very supportive and they all really wanted me to do what I wanted to do.”

While she may make it seem easy, Cummins admits that it’s not easy to balance soccer and academics. She said the sport is a huge time commitment and that ultimately school comes first.

Cummins, a government major, plans on attending law school either at Texas or a school on the West Coast.

“I’ve thought about playing professionally but you never know how that goes. There is nothing that says that I can’t tear my ACL tomorrow,” she said.

Head coach Chris Petrucelli said Cummins was a little immature when she began soccer at Texas.

“Her first year, she was obviously a young player. At times freshman year you could see that. But she has matured very quickly,” Petrucelli said. “She is not a young player anymore and she has really stepped up her game. She looks like a mature player now.”

Cummins said her goal for this year is to continue scoring. She said winning the Big 12, making it to the Final Four and winning the national championship are among her goals.

Despite being only a sophomore, Petrucelli said he continues to be impressed with Cummins’s hardworking attitude.

“Her work ethic is inspiring to other players. There is more to her than scoring goals. She sets a good example for her team,” Petrucelli said. 

Sophomore Kristin Cummins, the leading scorer for the Longhorns with five goals on the season, was named Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week. She scored a hat trick for UT last week in their 4–3 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Cummins, a Texas native, graduated from Lewisville High School in three years.

“I decided that I would focus on school and play on the club team. I also trained at a center called Paradigm back home,” Cummins said. “So I was there for a majority of the week. So it was just really hard for me to incorporate [high school soccer] too.”

Cummins has no regrets about graduating early.

“I couldn’t imagine just coming [to UT] this year. But it was hard not being with my friends in my graduating class,” she said. “But at the same time they were very supportive and they all really wanted me to do what I wanted to do.”

While she may make it seem easy, Cummins admits that it’s not easy to balance soccer and academics. She said the sport is a huge time commitment and that ultimately school comes first.

Cummins, a government major, plans on attending law school either at Texas or a school on the West Coast.

“I’ve thought about playing professionally but you never know how that goes. There is nothing that says that I can’t tear my ACL tomorrow,” she said.

Head coach Chris Petrucelli said Cummins was a little immature when she began soccer at Texas.

“Her first year, she was obviously a young player. At times freshman year you could see that. But she has matured very quickly,” Petrucelli said. “She is not a young player anymore and she has really stepped up her game. She looks like a mature player now.”

Cummins said her goal for this year is to continue scoring. She said winning the Big 12, making it to the Final Four and winning the national championship are among her goals.

Despite being only a sophomore, Petrucelli said he continues to be impressed with Cummins’s hardworking attitude.

“Her work ethic is inspiring to other players. There is more to her than scoring goals. She sets a good example for her team,” Petrucelli said.