Women's soccer: No. 8 Texas battles past Texas Tech in double overtime to stay perfect
AUSTIN, Texas – On Friday night in front of a season-high 1,662 fans at Mike A. Myers Stadium, No. 8 Texas soccer (11-0, 3-0 Big 12 Conference) got two stunning goals from sophomore forward Cyera Hintzen, including her second "golden goal" of the year at 101:32, and a goal from freshman midfielder Haley Berg to outlast a rugged Texas Tech (8-3-1, 1-1-1 Big 12 Conference) squad and remain perfect, 3-2 (2OT).
With the victory, the Longhorns equaled the program's longest winning streak of 11 matches originally established from Sept. 21-Oct. 28, 2001. UT also remains the only undefeated and untied team in all of NCAA Division I women's collegiate soccer, improved to a perfect 9-0 in one-goal decisions and is 3-0 in overtime this season.
Hintzen managed a magical brace during the match, while registering her team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the year, blasting home a go-ahead drive from 25 yards out at 78:14 before ending the contest on her "golden goal" from 19 yards out in the 102nd minute. Berg handed the Longhorns an early 1-0 lead on her fourth goal of the campaign at 18:53, while junior midfielder Kayra Dollas was credited with her third assist of 2017 by setting up Hintzen's winning score.
Texas out-shot the Red Raiders in the match by a 21-17 count, including 3-0 in overtime, and managed a 5-4 advantage on corner kicks, but TTU won the shot-on-goal battle, 12-8.
Reigning United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Curry made a career-high nine saves in earning her 11th career victory between the pipes.
Texas Tech showed it came to play right from the start of the match, earning the majority of possession over the opening few minutes.
Neither team could manage a shot, however, until Hintzen took advantage of some solid work by Dollas to launch a quick shot from the top of the box that traveled wide at 6:47.
Curry picked up her first save of the match at 8:55 as Texas Tech defender Cassie Conarty tried her luck from distance but drove the initial shot for TTU straight into the keeper's arms.
Somewhat against the run of play during the early going, the Longhorns jumped to an early lead at 18:53. After Hintzen beat a defender and made a move towards the left end line, the Garland, Texas, native crossed a ball into the middle of the 18. Waiting was Berg, who made a deft one-touch of the ball in the air past a TTU defender before driving home her fourth of the season from 15 yards out to make it 1-0.
The Red Raiders nearly responded in the 24th minute as forward Ally Griffin fired a shot from 22 yards. Curry came up with a terrific save, however, and a rebound was quickly cleared away by the Texas defense.
In the back-and-forth affair, the Burnt Orange & White managed a flurry of shots starting at 26:51 as junior forward Alexa Adams tried a shot from 10 yards out on the left edge of the 18. The ball was deflected by TTU keeper Carissa Christensen out to her left to the edge of the six-yard box. Racing into the play was UT redshirt freshman forward Cydney Billups, who got off a sliding shot that was saved from traveling into goal by a diving Tech defender.
Searching for an equalizer, the Red Raiders found it at 39:45 as forward Gwennie Puente scored from 12 yards out. TTU's Jade King started the play by battling two Texas defenders to get off a shot from the middle of the box. Curry deflected the original effort out to her left, but Griffin was waiting to control the rebound. Her cross back into the 18 traveled straight to Puente in space, and she finished from 14 yards to dead-lock things at 1-1.
Texas Tech managed five of its 17 total shots over the last 6:18 as the Red Raiders went into the halftime break with the momentum.
Out of the locker room, TTU nearly moved in front during the 51st minute as midfielder Carly Wickenheiser's shot from a sharp angle out on the left wing was saved off the line by a Texas defender.
Both offenses kept pushing, creating chance-after-chance over the next 25-plus minutes. Hintzen, redshirt sophomore forward Mikayla Flores, Berg and Glenn all managed opportunities for the Longhorns, while Puente, forward Kirsten Davis, King and midfielder Jordie Harr fired shots for Texas Tech.
With tonight's win over Texas Tech, Texas has now equaled the 2001 Longhorns for the LONGEST WIN STREAK IN SCHOOL HISTORY! 11 games!— Texas Soccer (@TexasSoccer) September 30, 2017
At 78:14, Hintzen utilized the first of her magic on the evening, taking control of the ball 40 yards from goal, dribbling in and unleashing a shot that found the upper 90 from 25 yards out to hand Texas a stunning, 2-1 lead.
Needing to hunt another equalizer, TTU forced more Curry action with Wickenheiser and Davis efforts necessitating saves at 83:13 and 86:03, respectively.
With time running short, the Red Raiders found some late magic of their own. Defender Rebekah O'Brien drove a long ball up the right wing that dropped right in front of King. She took one dribble before beating Curry to the left post to tie the match up at 2-2 with just 2:11 remaining in regulation. That proved the last chance for either team as overtime would be required to settle things.
Neither squad could get much going during the first extra session with Glenn's wide attempt from distance at 98:41 serving as the lone shot for either team.
Starting the final overtime, the Longhorns seemed to locate an extra gear as Hintzen had a shot blocked just 30 seconds in.
With the ball still in Texas' offensive end, Dollas did strong work to win a ball inside the 18, heading it back upfield to Hintzen. UT's forward made a quick turn and chipped a shot from 19 yards out that tickled the twine to end the thrilling contest at 101:32.