By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — The No. 23 Texas soccer team picked up a pair of wins to improve to 4-0-1 on the season, knocking off Long Beach State, 2-1, Thursday and then rolling over Stephen F. Austin, 5-0, Sunday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Junior forward Cyera Hintzen gave the Longhorns the lead against Long Beach State with an unassisted goal — her fifth score of the young season — in the second minute of the game. Long Beach State tied the game in the 50th minute, but Texas freshman Mackenzie McFarland’s first career goal, scored in the 62nd minute on an assist by Kayra Dollas, proved to be the game-winner.
“I couldn't have done it without my teammates,” McFarland said. “They gave me a great shot, and I kept composed and just finished it off.”
Texas head coach Angela Kelly said that the win over Long Beach State provides further evidence that the tough non-conference opponents on the schedule are preparing the Longhorns for the challenges that await later on the schedule.
“I am very pleased with that because it means that they have to fight,” Kelly said. “If you look at Long Beach State, they took UCLA to the last two seconds of the match. They are a quality opponent. Last week we faced two preseason high-ranked teams. We started school yesterday, and there were some players that had class 'til 5 p.m., and there are a ton of different factors, but once again, it's a lot better to teach off of a win, and we are excited about that.
Against SFA, the Longhorns employed a balanced attack, getting goals from four different players. Senior forward Alexa Adams scored what ended being the only goal UT would need when she netted her first of the year in the ninth minute on a breakaway goal set up by an assist by Katie Glenn. Sophomore forward Cydney Billups then added her first two goals of the season in the 24th minute and the 27th minute to give Texas a 3-0 lead at the halftime intermission.
Haley Berg scored her first goal of the year in the 73rd minute and Amber Stearns added a penalty kick in the 89th minute to close out the scoring.
UT outshot SFA, 25-2. The five Texas goals were the most the Longhorns had scored in exactly two years, when they scored seven in a win over Sam Houston State.
The Longhorns will be back in action Friday when they host Texas State at 6 p.m. in a game that can be seen on the Longhorn Network.