Texas forward Cyera Hintzen knows an opportunity to win a match when she sees one. On Thursday against TCU, she made sure Cydney Billups saw it, too.
“Honestly, I didn’t really see much,” Billups said. “My head was down. But I heard Cyera screaming her face off.”
Billups delivered the pass, and Hintzen had the finish in the 88th minute of a 1-0 victory that left the Longhorns (8-4, 3-0) as the only unbeaten, untied team in Big 12 play. The goal was the 12th match winner of Hintzen’s career, putting her one shy of tying the all-time record.
And, perhaps more importantly, it ensured a happy birthday for Texas coach Angela Kelly. Hintzen had chances to deliver her gift earlier but, as usual, came through when it counted.
“I wouldn’t call it pressure, but I know my job as forward is to put the ball in the back of the net,” Hintzen said. “So when I don’t finish in the beginning I know that 10 seconds is enough time to score. It’s just taking care of those little moments toward the end of the game and putting more focus on the finish.”
The Longhorns ran their shutout streak to four matches, a stretch of 360 minutes that extends back to the end of a 1-0 overtime loss to Providence on Sept. 19. It matches the longest stretch of clean sheets in school history set back in 2008.
Goalkeeper Nicole Curry, who has started all four of those matches after splitting time with Savannah Madden early in the season, made three saves on Thursday, and the back line anchored by senior Atu Mshana limited chances for TCU (7-4-1, 1-1-1).
“We’re excited to keep the streak going,” Mshana said.
The Longhorns were without leading goal scorer Julia Grosso (seven goals, four assists), who was called to represent the Canada national team for a friendly match against Japan on Sunday in Shizuoka, Japan. She’ll also miss the game 1 p.m. Sunday against West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (6-4-1, 1-1-0) suffered their first conference loss Thursday, losing 4-2 at Baylor.