By Steve Lansdale
Texas goalkeeper Abby Smith bolstered her collection of accolades when she was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Preseason Best XI first team.
Smith, who will be a senior in 2015, will start the final season of her college career ranked among the top five in every major statistical category in school history. Her career goals-against average is the best in UT history, and she ranks second in shutouts with 24, is tied for third with 28 wins, and ranks fifth among all Longhorn goalkeepers with 204 career saves and with 5,047 minutes played. (Continue reading below.)
(...Continued from above.) Smith was a first-team National Soccer coaches Association of America/Continental Tire All-Central and All-Big 12 selection in 2014, a season during which she helped lead the Longhorns to a record of 11-8-4 and a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament. She played 23 games as a junior, starting 22, surrendering an average of 0.92 goals per game. She also had nine shutouts, tying Dianna Pfenninger’s single-season record (set in 2008) for shutouts by a UT goalkeeper.
Smith’s 98 saves were the most by any Big 12 goalkeeper last season, and the sixth-highest single-season total in UT history.
Smith spent time over the summer on the roster of the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team, helping the Americans win the La Manga Tournament, in La Manga, Spain, and the Four Nations Tournament in Fredericstad and Sarpsborg, Norway.