The Texas Longhorns soccer team will face the No. 1 and defending national champion, UCLA Bruins on Fri. Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mike A. Myers Stadium.
UCLA will enter the match with a 6-0-1 record and a 28 game streak of games without a loss dating back to last year. Despite two losses to Central Florida and South Florida over the weekend the Longhorns have started strong this season with a 4-2-2 record.
Head Coach Angela Kelly isn’t focused on the losses. The constant factor she’s stressed throughout the season is one day at a time, one game at a time.
“We’re not really focused on the losses or results we’re focused on continuing to get better,” Kelly said. ”In the grand scheme of things we’re 4-2-2. We’re here to prepare for our conference schedule which starts next week and then get deep into the NCAA tournament.”
The experience UCLA has is undeniable. Kelly said the the flow of their rhythm during a match is fluid. Not only are they defending national champions but, have had eight senior starters, who’ve played on the international level.
Senior midfielder, Sharis Lachapelle uses UCLA’s strengths and title as motivation for the game ahead.
“They have everything to lose, we have everything to gain,” Lachapelle said. “So we’re just excited to go out there, and go as Ang [Kelly] likes to say, ‘go balls to the wall’. We’re just excited for the opportunity.”
A win for Texas would give them a great advantage as they progress in their season to the conference schedule and the NCAA Tournament.
“We want to improve,” said junior goalkeeper Abby Smith. “We want to continue to come together as a team and improve our team play. Just coming together and picking each other up.”
As always Texas soccer wants to treat their fans to the ultimate soccer experience. At the game Texas will have a canned food drive. Fans can help reach their goal to collect 500 pounds of canned goods to the Central Texas Community. Those who make a donation will receive a coupon for a free Whataburger (subject to availability.)
Between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. weather permitting, fans can take photos with Bevo XIV, Smokey the Cannon, Texas Cheer, and Hook 'Em! Photo ops.
Finally, the team will have a post-match autograph session which will begin 20 minutes after the match ends.
After UCLA the Longhorns continue their pre-conference schedule with at match at Texas State on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in San Marcos.