Texas has been on the wrong end of several tight contests recently.
The Longhorns played in three consecutive overtime matches leading up to Sunday’s matchup with Kansas, tying the first and losing the others.
And as the clock hit zero, the Longhorns (6–6–1, 0–3–1 Big 12) found themselves on the wrong end of yet another heartbreaking loss. The Jayhawks (8–3–2, 3–0–0 Big 12) topped Texas 1-0 with a goal in the final 10 minutes of the match.
“We’ve played a couple overtime matches, so there is going to be a physical fatigue,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “But you can’t afford to have a mental fatigue.”
After a deadlocked first half, Kansas appeared to score in the 52nd minute. But a foul call negated the goal just seconds after the ball crossed the plane into the net.
Moments later Kansas freshman midfielder Katie McClure found herself in a one-on-one situation against Texas senior goalkeeper Paige Brown. Brown stood her ground, knocked the shot down and corralled the ball to keep the score set at 0-0.
“Paige Brown did a fantastic job,” Kelly said. “I think we are still creating dangerous opportunities [and] dangerous chances. It’s just executions and having that little extra touch or earlier of a pass.”
Brown finished the game with four saves, three of which came in the second half.
“I was making sure I was communicating with the back line to make them solve it first,” Brown said. “And if worse came to worst, then I had to make the save.”
Tied with just five minutes remaining, it appeared as if Texas would head into its fourth consecutive overtime match. But the Longhorns found themselves in an all-too-familiar predicament.
In the 86th minute, McClure received a pass from senior midfielder Jackie Georgoulis. McClure drove and fired the shot from six yards out, and the ball flew into the back of the net with little time left for a Longhorn counter attack.
“We’ve played good in these games,” Brown said. “So we know what we can do and what we should be doing and we see it. We still have a lot of season left, so we have time to make up for some of the things we’ve done.”
Texas, which has yet to pick up a conference win, has now dropped three straight conference games due to opposing goals in the final seconds.
“We’ve had some critical injuries,” Kelly said. “We just have to continue to get healthy, and it’s going to be okay.”
Texas returns to action on Friday at home against Kansas State.