The Texas soccer team sings the Eyes of Texas at Myers Stadium on Sept. 7, 2018. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Soccer

Texas to host Virginia Tech as it opens its 13th appearance in the NCAA soccer tournament

Posted November 5th, 2018

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The NCAA added another home game to Texas’ soccer schedule on Monday.

The Longhorns will welcome Virginia Tech to town for the first round of the NCAA tournament, the NCAA announced. The winner of that tussle will meet either Arkansas or Little Rock. The second and third rounds in UT’s section of the bracket will likely be hosted by North Carolina, which scooped up one of the tournament’s four No. 1 seeds.

Texas (13-4-3) and Virginia Tech (9-7-3) will play Friday at 7 p.m. The Longhorns are 10-0 at Myers Stadium this season.

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“Our fans have given us a tremendous boost,” UT coach Angela Kelly said. “We’re looking to ask them to be here this Friday at 7. We know from our standpoint, it’s our job to put on a show.”

In its last match, Texas was beaten by West Virginia in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament. Three of the team’s 13 wins, though, have been recorded against postseason participants Long Beach State, Baylor and Kansas. The Longhorns also tied a match that was played at North Carolina (17-3-1) in August.

The Longhorns have scored 39 goals, the program’s best effort since a 48-goal season in 2007. Junior forward Cyera Hintzen, the program’s first-ever Big 12 offensive player of the year, leads the conference in goals (10), assists (nine) and points (29). Alexa Adams, Haley Berg and Katie Glenn have each scored at least five times.

Junior goalkeeper Nicole Curry had a school-record 11 shutouts last year, and she has since added six more this season.

“We know how it feels to win, but we also know how it feels to lose,” senior midfielder Kayra Dollas said. “We haven’t lost many games, so whenever we do lose, it punctures us a little bit and it gives us a good week of practice and we’re motivated to come out and then win the next game.”

Texas midfielder Katie Glenn (center) celebrates her goal against Texas State with midfielder Haley Berg (2) at Myers Stadium on Sept. 7, 2018. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Texas has gone through stretches without starters Julia Grosso and Emma Regan, who missed six conference games while playing with the Canadian national team. Grosso was still named the conference’s co-freshman of the year. Regan has been a key member of UT’s defense.

Without the two Canadians, Texas went 3-2-1. The Longhorns are 2-2-1 since their return.

“I think just now in training, even just this morning, we’ve started to click a little bit more,” Kelly said. “That’s just going to be every day in and day out from here on in. Just to get that type of synergy with each other and with the whole squad and the proper rhythm, it just takes time.”

Texas is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Texas ousted North Texas and Clemson last year before succumbing to a Duke team that went on to reach the national semifinals.

In its history, Texas has never advanced past the third round.

“I think our confidence has really raised since last year,” Berg said. “Last year we realized that we can do basically anything. We can play any team, anywhere. I think having those same people to help lead us and adding even more great, talented players is going to be really great.”

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