The No. 1 team in the nation is coming to town for Texas’ Senior Day on Sunday afternoon.
West Virginia (13–1–1 overall, 5–0–0 conference) has outscored its opponents 29–6 this season. But the Longhorns (7–7–1 overall, 0–4–1 conference) say they are ready for the challenge.
“You come to Texas because you want to play the best,” senior defender Isabelle Kerr said. “Obviously I want to go out on my senior night with a win, and I know everyone on our team looks at it as a great opportunity, so we’re really excited.”
Although Texas’ contest against the top-ranked Mountaineers is the marquee matchup of the weekend, the team first has to face Texas Tech on Friday night at Mike A. Myers Field. The Longhorns are adamant about protecting their home field to boost momentum before taking on West Virginia.
“It’s an exciting weekend — it’s our last home weekend,” senior midfielder Julia Dyche said. “We just want to come out and play like we know we can and get some wins.”
Texas is still looking to qualify for the Big 12 tournament. However, that requires at least one win in the last three games, and the Longhorns have yet to earn a conference victory this season.
“This weekend is huge,” Dyche said. “The next three games are huge. We know how important they are. We know the sense of urgency we need to play with, so that’s what you’re going to see Friday night: a team that feels that urgency.”
Adding to the already high stakes this weekend, the two games mark the last time the team’s seniors will play on the 40 Acres. And even with at least three games remaining this season, head coach Angela Kelly can’t help but reflect on the impact the Longhorn seniors have made in their four years.
“They’ve been with us since day one,” Kelly said. “And certainly adopted the philosophy and have been leading by example … I think they’ve certainly left their mark on this program.”
The Longhorns kick off against Texas Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. They follow it up with a 5 p.m. start on Sunday against West Virginia.
Texas’ seniors hope to end their Longhorn tenure at home on a high note.
“I don’t think it’ll probably hit until Sunday night or after,” Kerr said. “I’ve only had great memories here. It’s been such a blessing to have the opportunity to play here.”