Texas, who earned an at-large bid, is looking to regroup after a heartbreaking double overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Semifinals.
South Carolina, who will play Texas for the first time ever, will also be looking to bounce back after losing to Alabama 1-0 in the first round of the SEC tournament.
This is the Longhorns 10th appearance in the last 11 NCAA Championships. Texas’ record in tournament play since their first appearance in 2001 is 6-9-1. The Longhorns will rely heavily on their younger players after starting four freshmen and one sophomore against Oklahoma State.
Texas will need a big game from their forwards, especially senior Kylie Doniak and junior Kristin Cummins, who are tied for the team lead with five goals each. South Carolina brings the stingiest defense in the SEC and only allowed 16 goals in 21 matches. The Longhorns come in averaging only 1.6 goals per match.
On defense, the Longhorns will look to continue its consistent play after allowing only four goals in the last four games. The backline will rely on three freshmen including Julie Arnold and Brooke Gilbert who have started all 20 games this season.
Junior goalkeeper Alexa Gaul will also look for another strong performance. Gaul has seven shutouts this season.
Last year, James Madison beat the Longhorns in the first round of the tournament, but Texas brings a 4-2-1 record away from Austin this season.
Printed on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 as: Longhorns draw Gamecocks in first match of NCAA tournament