Sharis Lachappelle

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Texas soccer overcame frigid conditions Friday to knock off the Rice Owls, 3-0, in Austin and win its first NCAA tournament contest since 2011.

The two teams traded possessions throughout the first half, but junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle got the scoring started.

Lachappelle found her way to a ball that was ricocheting around the Rice box and whipped a shot past the outstretched arm of Rice senior keeper Amy Czyz. That 29th-minute score proved to be the only offense Texas needed.

“I think it settled us down a little bit because we were playing a bit frantically,” sophomore defender Julia Dyche said. “When Sharis scored, we were like, ‘Okay, we need to settle down. We’re ahead, and we need to play better.’ That was a huge goal for us.”

The Texas back line held the Owls to just one shot in the second half. They even dabbled in goalkeeping late in the first period when junior goalkeeper Abby Smith burst off her line to help clear a Rice threat, but a misplay sent the ball squirting back out to an Owl attacker who fired on a keeper-less goal. Two Longhorns waited in Smith’s absence and cleared the shot away to stop the biggest Rice threat of the game. 

In the second half, the Longhorns cranked up the heat and turned the hard-fought match into a beatdown. 

“I think I just challenged them a little bit,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “To be honest, I just cut to the chase about this being a first-round NCAA match. Everybody in the room was really excited.” 

The Longhorns added two more goals in the second 45 minutes to put Rice away and comfortably advance to the second round of the tournament. 

Freshman forward Olivia Brook started the second-half charge in the 48th minute. Brook fought her way to the end of senior defender Whitney Jaynes’ long pass into the box and needed just a slight tap to redirect the ball into the net for her team-leading seventh goal of the season. 

Dyche then added the knockout punch with a 30-yard blast in the 66th minute to send Texas to College Station for its second-round matchup at 3 p.m. Friday against No. 14 Notre Dame.

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

As a transfer from the University of Houston, then sophomore midfielder Sharis Lachappelle earned Big 12 conference honors in her first game as a Longhorn and led the team at the end of the season with five goals. This year, she’s tied as the team’s leading scorer again, but that’s not what matters most.  

“The all-conference and newcomer thing: it’s nice to receive, but at the end of the season those are just extra things,” Lachappelle said. “It’s not my goal.”

For Lachappelle, now a junior studying mathematics, her ultimate goal is to be as productive as possible to help bring her team success.

“It’s not my goal to get individual awards. I would much rather have a Big 12 ring or a national championship ring,” Lachappelle said. “I don’t really care about my name in the paper more so than I like to see our team’s name in the paper.”

Lachappelle has notched four goals on 20 shots on goal and three assists so far in 2013. Head coach Angela Kelly said her left-footed shot makes her a threat when it comes to scoring.

“She’s a naturally left-footed player and they’re worth their weight in gold in the game of soccer,” Kelly said. “She’s just got a ton of creativity and willingness to put the ball in the back of the net and take responsibility for a team.”

To Lachappelle, scoring is an experience that brings the team together, a fulfilling moment for her after all her hard work. 

“When your teammates are hugging you, there really isn’t any really greater feeling,” Lachappelle said. “It’s just a really rewarding feeling knowing that all your practice and preseason and everything that you work for is really paying off.”

Math is an offbeat major for an athlete, but she enjoys problem solving on and off the field.

“As a kid, I just always loved math problems, so it just made sense to major in math, and calculus is definitely my favorite math,” Lachappelle said. “I like taking derivatives and integrals, I don’t know, that stuff is fun.”

As a member of UTeach, a program in which she will graduate with a teaching degree, Lachappelle said she’s considered teaching math at any level, but ultimately sees herself back on a college campus as a professor at a smaller university than Texas.

Kelly said she’s not surprised by Lachappelle’s goal of teaching and thinks her personality lends to a career like that.

“Honestly, I think that Sharis has been given qualities that are trending much more toward people,” Kelly said. “She needs to be giving back to the community, and I think if she was to become a professor, I think that would be wonderfully suited for her.”

Texas only has one game remaining in regular season play, and as the Longhorns move toward tournament play, Lachappelle’s personality and leadership ability will be key for the Longhorns to make a deep run. For her, each day is a teaching moment.

As a transfer from the University of Houston, then sophomore midfielder Sharis Lachappelle earned Big 12 conference honors in her first game as a Longhorn and lead the team with five goals. This year, she’s tied as the team’s leading scorer again, but that’s not what matters most.  

“The all-conference and newcomer thing: It’s nice to receive, but at the end of the season those are just extra things,” Lachappelle said. “It’s not my goal.”

For Lachappelle, now a junior studying mathematics, her ultimate goal is to be as productive as possible to help bring her team success.

“It’s not my goal to get individual awards; I would much rather have a Big 12 ring or a national championship ring,” she said. “I don’t really care about my name in the paper more so than I like to see our team’s name in the paper.”

Lachappelle has notched four goals on 20 shots on goal and three assists so far in 2013. Head coach Angela Kelly said her left-footed shot makes her a threat when it comes to scoring.

“She’s a naturally left-footed player and they’re worth their weight in gold in the game of soccer,” Kelly said. “She’s just got a ton of creativity and willingness to put the ball in the back of the net and take responsibility for a team.”

To Lachappelle, scoring is an experience that brings the team together, a fulfilling moment for her after all her hard work. 

“When your teammates are hugging you, there really isn’t any really greater feeling,” Lachappelle said. “It’s just a really rewarding feeling knowing that all your practice and preseason and everything that you work for is really paying off.”

Math is an offbeat major for an athlete, but she enjoys problem solving on and off the field.

“As a kid, I just always loved math problems, so it just made sense to major in math, and calculus is definitely my favorite math,” she said. “I like taking derivatives and integrals, I don’t know, that stuff is fun.”

As a member of UTeach, a program in which she will graduate with a teaching degree, Lachappelle said she’s considered teaching math at any level but ultimately sees herself back on a college campus as a professor but at a smaller university than Texas.

Kelly said she’s not surprised by Lachappelle’s goal of teaching and thinks her personality lends to a career like that.

“Honestly, I think that Sharis has been given qualities that are trending much more toward people,” Kelly said. “She needs to be giving back to the community, and I think if she was to become a professor, I think that would be wonderfully suited for her.”

Texas has only one game remaining in regular season play, and as the Longhorns move toward tournament play, Lachappelle’s personality and leadership ability will be key for the Longhorns to make a deep run. For Lachappelle, each day is a teaching moment, and the team still remembers the hard lesson of missing the NCAA tournament last season. 

Photo Credit: Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Texas soccer notched another home win Friday, beating Baylor 2-1 on two goals from junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle to improve to 8-0-1 at home and 10-4-1 overall.

After a scoreless first half, Lachappelle notched two quick goals. Lachappelle’s goals came within two minutes of each other early in the second while Baylor (8-3-3, 1-2 Big 12) couldn’t answer until the 87th minute.

After pressuring the Bears back line and forcing back-to-back corner kicks early in the second half, Lachappelle got her head on a cross from sophomore midfielder/forward Chantale Campbell in the 48th minute. The goal was the first allowed by Baylor on the road since North Carolina beat the Bears in overtime penalty kicks Nov. 18, 2012.

Two minutes later, Lachappelle caught a cross from the right side of the field from senior midfielder Gabby Zarnegar and landed a left-footed shot to put the game away for Texas.

The two scores were Lachappelle’s third and fourth of the season, putting her in a three-way tie for the team lead with junior defender Brooke Gilbert and sophomore forward Kelsey Schimmick. Campbell and Zarnegar are tied with sophomore midfielder Lindsey Meyer for the team lead in assists with four.

Baylor’s only score came from junior forward Natalie Huggins on a rebound that snuck past sophomore goalkeeper Abby Smith. The goal was also the Bear’s only shot on goal in the second half. Overall, the teams managed the same number of shots, with Texas only having one more shot on goal than Baylor.

The Longhorns remain in second place in the Big 12 standings with a 4-0-1 record. They are a half game behind conference leader West Virginia with only two regular season conference matches left. Texas will play Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Friday before returning home to finish the regular season against Oklahoma on Sunday.

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.”