Senior midfielder

Senior midfielder Sharis Lachapelle slid for a shot against No.1 UCLA on Friday night with 24 minutes remaining. Lachapelle's shot missed, leaving Texas scoreless in the 1-0 loss. 

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

It’s clear from the box score that the women's soccer team lost its third game in a row 1-0 against No. 1 UCLA on Friday. That being said, Texas gave the defending national champion its best challenge of the season thus far, and a 2-0 win on Sunday over Texas State should quell any fears of a stagnant offense. Texas’ performance against collegiate elite showed this team has the necessary attributes to make a run in the postseason.

“If that’s the number one team in the country, I’m really excited about where we are,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “We’re just going to crank up the tempo, crank up the heat and continue to move forward.” 

As soon as the Longhorns kicked off to start the game, UCLA stole the ball away and hoverd dangerously around the Texas goal. The Longhorn defenders sprinted around the field to pressure the Bruins, but less than three minutes into regulation, Bruin senior midfielder Sam Mewis received a line drive cross right in front of the Texas net and tapped it in to take an early lead. 

The Longhorns’ tight press defense continued after conceding the goal, but the offense failed to harness Texas’ energy and hustle. The Longhorns charged forward when they gained possession, but when they rushed the follow-up passes, UCLA defenders positioned themselves to regain possession.

“We were intercepting passes in the first half, and we weren’t having the confidence on the ball to execute a second pass,” Kelly said. “Now we just have to have composure in the mid to the attacking third with the final pass.”

The Texas offense settled down in the second half and began stringing together passes for some extended possession. Four of the Longhorns’ five shots in the game came in the second half, as did all three of their shots on goal.

Three shots on goal may seem like a disappointing total, but that is the highest total that the smothering UCLA defense had allowed on the season since Pepperdine managed two shots on goal.

The Longhorns’ best chance of the night came with 24 minutes remaining, when senior midfielder Sharis Lachapelle slid to meet a cross with only the goalie between her and pay dirt. The shot, however, popped up harmlessly for an easy save by UCLA senior keeper Katelyn Rowland.

The Bruins had a flurry of shots to end the game, but a diving save by junior keeper Abby Smith and high pressure from the Texas defenders held the Bruins scoreless for 87 minutes after their initial goal.

“We kept them in front and besides that one opportunity, I think we did well,” Smith said. “We created a new standard for ourselves.” 

The Longhorns lived up to that new standard Sunday when they defeated Texas State 2-0. Lachapelle and sophomore forward Jasmine Hart provided the scoring and helped Texas unleash 26 shots, including 11 on goal.

Texas’ next action comes Friday at 7 p.m. in the Big 12 opener at home against Texas Tech.

Senior midfielder Tully Moorhead led Texas with 55 goals last season and was named the 2014 WCLA Preseason Player of the Year. The Longhorns are currently 9-8 on the season.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

Longhorn senior midfielder Tully Moorhead, Lacrosse Magazine’s 2014 WCLA Division I Preseason Player of the Year, has her eyes on the future in her last season as a club lacrosse player at Texas.

“Tully is an all-around great player,” head coach Brandie Leach said. “She is dangerous at both ends of the field.”

Last season, Moorhead led the team with 55 goals and has already surpassed that total this season with two games left until nationals. Leach suggests that those statistics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Moorhead’s talent and sportsmanship. 

“Her internal motivation is very important to the success of our team because she is a captain, leader, and her teammates look up to her,” Leach said. “Every practice and game, she exemplifies this trait.”

The team is 9-8 this season, including a blowout 17-0 win against Texas A&M and narrow losses to higher ranked teams. Now in her 11th and final season as a lacrosse player, Moorhead still has the same passion for the game that she had when she first picked up a stick.

The Grapevine native immerses herself in the game she loves. After graduation, Moorhead said she would love the opportunity to coach, but is currently planning on going into research to become a commercial developer or international businesswoman in Austin or Miami.

“I coached Westlake and Austin High my freshman through junior years. It depends where I end up — looking like Austin or Miami. Both cities have really amazing athletes, just not the most developed lacrosse network,” Moorhead said.

With graduation just around the corner, Moorhead is looking for post-collegiate leagues to play in, but the search may prove to be difficult.

“To my knowledge there is only one post-collegiate women’s professional team, and only one club player is on the roster — Clayton Crum, a former Texas player who also won Preseason Player of the Year and Player of the Year.”

After graduation, Moorhead will have a family connection to the University: Her sister will also be playing for the Longhorns.

Moorhead has a bright future ahead of her, but her love for the lacrosse team here at Texas will never waver.

“My favorite memory was the last weekend in February this year,” Moorhead said. “We had played so well all weekend and we were playing Florida — ranked in the top 2 or 3 right now — and I look over on the sideline and see my roommates, family, my friends, my partner and his family. So my favorite memory: playing really well in front of everyone I love.”