No. 25 Texas finished its regular season with a well-played double overtime tie against regular season Big 12 champion Texas A&M.
Revenge was on the Longhorn’s mind after losing to the Aggies in the Big 12 semifinals 5-0 last season.
The teams were well matched, but the Longhorns played strong, especially defensively, and maintained possession for much of the game. This tie puts the Longhorns in the fifth seed for the Big 12 championships and they will face Oklahoma on Wednesday.
The Aggies took the lead in the 12th minute after Rachel Shipley sent the ball to Alyssa Mautz in the corner. Mautz sent a cross that hit the top cross bar, goalie Alexa Gaul got a hand on it, but could not stop it from going into the net.
Only one minute later, Kylie Doniak, who has had a goal or an assist in each of the last six games, responded by half-volleying a pass from Kristen Birkhold into the top left corner.
“I just knew after they got that goal that we just needed to get shots off,” Doniak said. “We needed to test the keeper and see what she’s about. You can’t score unless you shoot so I wanted to get something on it first and it just, God willing, [it] went in.”
Sophomore Hannah Higgins had a close opportunity when A&M goalie Kelly Dyer was taken down by her own teammate. Higgins got a head on the ball, but it landed in the arms of Dyer on the ground.
Soon after, A&M had a couple of great chances within a period of 15 seconds. Consecutive shots by Rachel Shipley and Alyssa Mautz were both stopped by Gaul.
A series of three corner kicks by Doniak led to some close chances for Longhorns Lucy Keith and Kristen Birkhold, but they could not capitalize.
“It’s a little but frustrating because we would have liked to win,” Doniak said. “Obviously we felt that we played really well tonight and we definitely had the chance to get another goal. We are going to work hard and hopefully beat them the next time we see them.”
Head coach Chris Petrucelli said the Longhorn defense played well and that they limited the amount of chances the Aggies had.
“The goal was a little unfortunate,” Petrucelli said. “She obviously was crossing the ball. It was a hard fought game and both teams played very well. They’re obviously a quality team and we were even with them.”
Petrucelli said the defense played well all around and both Erica Campanelli and Sophie Campise were strong on the outside even though they faced multiple one-on-one situations.
“Lucy [Keith] and Nina [Pederson] in the center were really good dealing with both Norah [Skelton] and Whitney [Hooper] who are really dangerous players,” Petrucelli said.
Although the Longhorns play a slower, more controlled game than the Aggies, coach Petrucelli was impressed with the team’s play.