04 Sep

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University of Texas Soccer Preview: Samford

(PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS)

(PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS)

 

LONGHORNS RETURN HOME IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY …

The Texas Soccer team continue their 2013 non-conference journey this weekend in Austin, facing the Samford Bulldogs (Friday, 7 p.m. Central) and the Illinois State Redbirds (Sunday, Noon Central) at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field.  UT is 1-0-0 against the Bulldogs all-time, having taken a 4-0 victory in the teams’ inaugural meeting in Austin on Aug. 22, 2008. 

 

GILBERT TAKES THE LEAD ...

Junior defender Brooke Gilbert scored her second goal of the season and fourth of her career last Sunday against Oregon in Eugene.  Gilbert, UT’s points leader in 2013 (four), also cracks the Big 12 top 10 in several categories: game-winning goals (second, one); goals scored (t-fifth) and goals per game (t-sixth, 0.50).

 

ROOKIES HIT THE GROUND RUNNING ...

The Longhorns’ 2013 rookie class has seen valuable minutes on the field early in UT’s season.  Defender Isabelle Kerr has started all four games and is averaging 89.5 minutes while midfielder Julia Dyche earned her place in the starting lineup last Sunday against Oregon and played a season-high 80 minutes.  Forwards Jasmine Hart and Marchelle Davis have seen action in all four games and are averaging 64.25 and 47.5 minutes, respectively.  Midfielder/forward Katie Gernsbacher saw her first minutes of the season last weekend against both Oregon State (12) and Oregon (57).

 

BY THE NUMBERS ...

In UT’s first four matches of 2013, the Longhorns have held solid advantages in several offensive statistical categories. Texas has created 37 corner kick opportunities, the third most in the nation and the most of any Big 12 team, to its opponents’ collective 18.  The Longhorns have out-shot their opponents 62-29, an average of 8.25 more per game, and hold a 31-18 advantage in shots on goal (3.25 more per game). 

 

LAST TIME OUT …

The Longhorns dropped a 2-1 decision to Oregon last Sunday in Eugene.  Brooke Gilbert found the upper-right corner of the Oregon net on a penalty kick in the 85th minute, but the Ducks’ pair of first-half goals in the 10th and 34th minutes were too much for the Longhorns to overcome. Abby Smith had three saves and Gabby Zarnegar tallied four shots, two of them on goal, to lead Texas.   

 

UP NEXT …

The Longhorns will face off for the first time in program history against Illinois State on Sunday at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field.  The Redbirds enter the weekend with a 1-3-0 record in 2013 after winning the Missouri Valley Conference title last season.

 

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.