After a two-year absence, Texas has returned to the NCAA’s women’s soccer tournament.
Texas learned its postseason fate Monday when the NCAA unveiled the tournament bracket. UT earned a No. 4 seed and will face North Texas at Myers Stadium at 5 p.m. Friday. If victorious, the Longhorns would take on Alabama or Clemson in a match that likely would be played at Duke.
Texas (13-3-2) last reached the NCAA tournament in 2014. The Longhorns failed to even qualify for the Big 12’s postseason tournament in 2016.
“I think for every one of the institutions that compete in Division I, I think this is a marker that they set their goals for. Certainly, something that is an expectation here at Texas,” said Angela Kelly, UT’s sixth-year coach. “I think the résumé and all of the work put in throughout the course of the season by this young group has afforded them this opportunity, an opportunity that will not be taken for granted.”
Texas retained much of its offensive firepower from last year, and the team welcomed Mikayla Flores and Alexa Adams back from injury. Haley Berg also was among the impact players in UT’s 2017 recruiting class.
Texas was unbeaten over its first 13 matches, the best start in UT history. The Longhorns slumped down the stretch, though, and were bounced from the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.
Berg joined Cyera Hintzen and Katie Glenn on the all-conference team. Nicole Curry recorded a school-record 10 shutouts.
“We just need to focus back on our core values,” Glenn said. “I think we kind of reset our minds and are ready to go for this tournament.”
North Texas is 14-3-4. One of those defeats was a 1-0 loss to Texas on Aug. 27. On that day in Denton, the Longhorns were boosted by a late goal from Hintzen.