Young talent is becoming an asset for the Texas soccer team, which has had success shooting the ball but only holds a 4-3-1 record.
“There’s times when we’re starting four freshmen and four or five sophomores,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “They’re a very young squad and the fact that they’re producing on that starting 11 is fantastic for the future of
In Texas’ last victory, a 3-1 win over the Air Force Academy, one goal came from sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick and the two others came from freshman forward Jasmine Hart, her first career goals as a Longhorn.
“We have a lot of offensive threats and the goals we scored against Air Force were world-class goals, with tons of dynamic movement and great services in to our forwards,” Kelly said. “There’s a continued hunger to put the ball in the back of the net, which is exciting in our final preparation for conference play.”
Shimmick has two goals and an assist so far in 2013 and has played at least 45 minutes in each of Texas’ games. In the Longhorns’ loss to Colorado College in their last outing, Shimmick led the team with three shots but could not turn them into points.
“There’s a little pressure because you don’t want to let the team down, but it’s very fulfilling whenever you can score and help the team to a victory,” Shimmick said.
In her first season with Texas, Shimmick scored three goals and had one
assist, becoming the fourth player and second freshman to score two goals in a Big 12 championship game.
According to Shimmick, Kelly does not let players dwell on being younger, but instead reminds the players of why they’re on the team.
“[Coach Kelly] focuses on that we’re not divided by class,” she said. “We’re not a freshman, junior or sophomore — we’re a soccer player for the University so we just need to go out there and step up and do what we’ve done our whole lives.”
Coming into the season, Hart was ranked the seventh-best player in Texas and No. 24 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com. She had a break-out game against Air Force with three shots, two on goal, both of which she sent to the back of the net. She has tallied 10 shots so far in her rookie season, six of them on goal.
“I was expecting to work hard, I was hoping I would get a lot of playing time and come in and score, but I wasn’t sure that was going to happen,” Hart said about starting her career at Texas. “After this weekend, I realized I’ve gotten a lot of playing time and actually a good impact on the team. I was lucky that I got those two goals and it gave me a good boost of confidence.”
Both players said they are prepared to continue the season with high expectations and aspirations. Hart said now that she’s more confident she should be scoring goals, and Shimmick already had high goals set.
“My personal goal that I set with my dad is to get 15 goals in the season and I’m at two,” she said. “So it’s kind of far, but you have to set high goals in order to get anywhere.”