The Longhorns were desperate for any momentum in the first half against North Texas on Friday night.
Unable to keep possession combined with three offside calls plagued the team for much of the opening frame.
But Texas finally received a boost in the 33rd minute — not from a player wearing burnt orange, but from one wearing green. An own goal by North Texas broke open the match and proved to be the decider in a 1-0 Texas win.
“We had a pretty slow start but then we really picked up, and getting that goal really helped our momentum,” junior midfielder Morgan Murphy said. “We stuck to our game plan, and we put pressure on them.”
In the 33rd minute, Murphy fired a shot from in front of the semi-circle, but the ball deflected off a Mean Green defender and backwards into the air. Sophomore midfielder Katie Glenn and North Texas goalkeeper Brooke Bradley each raced toward the ball as it fell back down to the pitch, but they collided with each other.
The ball spun back toward the net as North Texas midfielder Tori Phillips chased after it to save it. But she incidentally headed the ball into the back of the net for an own goal.
“Everyone ahead of the ball did a really good job of just creating chaos,” Murphy said. “That’s unfortunate for them — things like that happen, but fortunate for us. We’re happy that it went into the goal, and that definitely gave us momentum.”
After a slow start out of the gates, Texas strung together a few attacks midway through the first half.
Freshman forward Cyera Hintzen recorded the Longhorns’ first shot of the match in the 29th minute. Moments later, senior forward Jasmine Hart missed a shot just to the right of the post. Then, freshman defender Emma Jett sent a corner kick into the box, but Murphy’s ensuing header was blocked.
“I think North Texas is a well-organized squad,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “They’re a very well-coached program, so they were hard to break down. I think in instances in the first half we found a rhythm. It’s not always pretty and you understand that.”
The Longhorns, who were outshot 5-4 in the first half, picked up the offensive pressure in the second and finished the match with 11 shots to the Mean Green’s nine.
Coming off a two-game win streak, Texas (5–3) and will face an undefeated California-Santa Barbara on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.. The Longhorns, who lost to UCSB last year, hope to finish out their non-conference schedule on a high note before they begin Big 12 play next weekend on the road.
“We had a tough battle against [UCSB] last year,” Kelly said. “We’re going to have to get the ball on the floor and set a lot quicker because UCSB is a very good team.”