With one swing of her left foot, Texas sophomore Cyera Hintzen sent waves across the national soccer landscape.
Hintzen’s late goal secured a 1-0 victory over fifth-ranked West Virginia — the 2016 national runners-up — Sunday at Mike A. Myers Stadium, moving the 17th-ranked Longhorns to 10-0 on the season.
The loss ended a string of 24 matches without a loss for the Mountaineers, which was the longest streak in conference history. Sunday’s defeat was only their second since joining the league in 2012 (36-2-3).
“It was a battle of wills,” said Texas coach Angela Kelly. “I’m just really pleased with how the team responded. I’ve said it a million times, they’re a young squad. To find that type of resiliency against a a very mature team that was in the Final Four last year, I’m very pleased.”
After nearly 88 minutes of knocking on the door, Hintzen busted it down with her shot from the left side of the penalty area. Junior midfielder Katie Glenn — a Rouse product — set up the opportunity with a pass from the left wing.
Hintzen’s shot deflected off a West Virginia defender before burrowing into the bottom right corner of the net with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in regulation.
“I was stunned that I got it in the box with so much time,” said Hintzen, who has a team-high five goals on the season. “We had a lot of great opportunities and I knew this one needed to go back post.”
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About 40 seconds later, sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Curry came up with the biggest save of her young career, on a point-blank shot by West Virginia forward Michaela Abam — to preserve the lead and a third-straight shutout.
The Mountaineers (8-3, 1-1) controlled possession throughout most of a first half in which they had seven shots to the Longhorns’ three.
Texas shifted momentum at the start of the second half behind forward Mikayla Flores, who came off the bench to provide a spark to the attack. The sophomore had a team-high six shots, including a pair of close calls just after halftime.
Hintzen also had a decent chance off a 53rd-minute free kick that she put over the crossbar, and midfield stalwart Kayra Dollas’ header off a corner kick in the 73rd was saved off the line by a West Virginia defender.
The Longhorns outshot the Mountaineers 11-6 in the second half.
The win moved the Longhorns to 2-0 in conference play following a 1-0 victory over Iowa State on Friday. It is the best start in program history that now includes a win over a top-five team for the first time since 2010, when they beat No. 5 Oklahoma State.
West Virginia came in having beaten three ranked opponents — No. 1 Penn State, No. 5 Georgetown and No. 14 Princeton. Last season, the Mountaineers lost to Southern California 3-1 in the national championship game.
“It’s amazing, it’s incredible,” Flores said. “To come out here and beat West Virginia 1-0, I don’t even know that last time that they’ve lost a game in conference. We’re taking it one game at a time, and just because we beat them doesn’t meant that we’re going to come out any different next weekend.”