With only four matches left in regular season play, Texas soccer is confident it can finish the season strong and with one goal in mind: winning the Big 12 and making the NCAA tournament.
“Winning becomes a habit,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “There’s an expectation there. The expectation is that we’re going to battle for the full 90 minutes. The results will ultimately take care of themselves, but each and every opponent is going to get 100 percent of what we can bring that day.”
At home in 2013, Texas has been nearly perfect, posting an 8-0-1 record with only one home match left this season against Oklahoma on senior night. Overall, the Longhorns are 10-4-1 this season, and are coming off a win over Baylor.
“I think winning does wonderful things for all things,” Kelly said. “It’s the solution to all things when you consistently do it, and, I mean, we’ve done it each and every time at home. We’ve also found success on the road.”
Junior midfielder Sharis Lachappelle, who scored the two goals in the Baylor game, said each win builds the team’s momentum.
“I think with every win we get a little bit more confidence and we start to believe that we can and will win and have more confidence in each other,” Lachappelle said. “I think the added success that we’re having now is going to further our success, just because it helps our confidence and mentality.”
Players agree the team has the confidence to beat any squad it’s matched against, including West Virginia, the Longhorns’ only conference loss of the season.
“We have to hope that we win out the rest of our conference [schedule],” sophomore forward Kelsey Shimmick said. “Going into tournament play, that’s good, because we know we have the momentum going our way and we know that we can beat anyone that we come up against. And, when we face West Virginia again, we will win this time.”
The team is staying grounded despite recent success, and knows what it will take to keep winning, Shimmick said.
“We know that we need to work hard and keep up the hard work and just keep plugging away at practice and stay focused because nothing is going to be given to us,” Shimmick said. “We just have to keep out there and busting our butts.”
Moving forward, the team will focus on perfecting its style, because consistent skills will serve the team well in conference play.
“There’s nothing stronger than a group of individuals that believe,” Kelly said. “And this Texas women’s soccer program believes that they can compete with anyone in the country.”