02 Nov

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No. 18 Texas takes on No. 14 WVU in Big 12 Semis

No. 18 Texas takes on No. 15 West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship Semifinals Friday night (Photo courtesy of texassports.com).

There’s a giant Big 12 showdown between two Top 25 teams — Texas and West Virginia — and it’s going down tonight on the pitch at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

The No. 18 Longhorns square off with the No. 14 Mountaineers in the Big 12 Championship Semifinals tonight at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the title Big 12 title game.

The other semifinal kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with No. 1 seeded Baylor going against No. 5 seed Texas Tech, with the winner of the No. 3 seeded Longhorns (13-3-3, 5-3-1 Big 12) vs. the No. 2 seed Mountaineers (12-4-3, 7-2-0 Big 12). The Big 12 Championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 on FS1.

Longhorns Looking To Conquer Mountaineers

♦ Texas advanced to its first semifinal since 2014 when the Longhorns tied West Virginia (0-0, 2OT), yet lost on penalty kicks, 6-5.

♦ This marks the 22nd all-time appearance at the Big 12 Championship for Texas, owning a 13-17-7 record overall. The last time UT reached the Big 12 Championship Final was 2007 when they knocked off Texas A&M to win their second straight title, 2-1.

♦ When scoring first in a match, the Longhorns own a 10-1-1 mark on the season and the first goal today will go a long way toward getting to the title game. UT scored first during a 1-1 (2OT) tie at No. 4 North Carolina, though West Virginia is the only team to topple Texas when the ‘Horns scored first, rallying for a 2-1 on Oct. 7.

♦ This year the Longhorns got a 19th minute goal from sophomore midfielder Haley Berg to grab an early lead but were victimized by a 77th minute penalty and an 80th minute score to fall on the road in Morgantown during that match.

♦ A staggering seven different Longhorns have registered match-winning goals over the opening 19 contests. During last year's successful 2017 season, only five different Texas players scored match-winning tallies.

♦ What a difference two years made — after going just 2-8 during one-goal matches during the 2016 season, the Longhorns have since turned around their fortunes in such contests by going a remarkable 18-6 over their last 24 one-goal matches since beginning 2017 and are 7-3 in 2018.

♦ The Longhorns’ 13 regular-season wins this season ties the 2017 and 2007 Texas teams for the third-most regular season triumphs in program history. UT needs five more victories to tie the school record of 18 overall single-season wins set by the 2006 edition of the Burnt Orange & White. That many wins would mean big things were happening in the NCAA Tournament for Texas.

Five To Watch for Texas

♦ Texas junior goalkeeper Nicole Curry is beginning to make an impression on the UT career record book. The Dallas, Texas, native continues to lead in career goals-against-average at 0.72 and now ranks fourth in solo shutouts (17) and fifth in victories (27) between the pipes.

♦ Junior forward Cyera Hintzen is attempting to accomplish something that only two players (Nebraska's Morgan Marlborough - 2010 and West Virginia's Frances Silva - 2013) have ever done in Big 12 history, lead the conference in goals, assists and points for an entire season. The Garland, Texas, native is currently on top of all three categories in the league with 10 goals, nine assists and 29 points through 19 matches.

♦ Senior forward Alexa Adams has tallied at least one point in nine of her last 15 matches.

♦ Sophomore midfielder Haley Berg has now totaled two points in seven of UT's last 15 contests

♦ Julia Grosso, who missed some of this season playing for the Canadian National Team, grabed UT's third-straight Big 12 Freshman of the Year accolade by sharing co-honors with TCU's Messiah Bright. With Nicole Curry and Grosso's nods as the Big 12 Defensive and Freshman of the Week on Oct. 23, respectively, the Longhorns registered a program record nine weekly league awards in 2018, breaking the old mark of seven set by the 2017 Texas squad.

♦  Furthermore, senior Katie Glenn is up for the Senior Class Award, which fans can vote on at the link below.

The match tonight will be livestreamed on the Big 12 Digital Network on big12sports.com.