After last week’s cancellation against California, Texas remains eager to showcase its talent against a top program. That chance comes Friday evening as the team hosts No. 25 Colorado at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The matchup features two of the nation’s top defenses, and a single score from either side will likely be the winning one. The Buffaloes’ backline has yet to give up a goal six games into the season. The Longhorns’ defense, anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Curry, has only allowed two.
Fortunately, tight games are where this Texas team thrives. The Longhorns are a perfect 4–0 in one-goal matches, a much-improved area from last season, where they posted a 2–8 record in games decided by a single score.
“I think last year we had a lot of obstacles we had to face, but overall as a team I think we’re better connected and (have) better chemistry,” redshirt sophomore forward Mikayla Flores said. “I think we are more dynamic this year than we were last year.”
That is certainly the case when it comes to the team’s multiple scoring threats. In five games, four separate players have delivered game-winning goals, a rare luxury which may prove key to breaking Colorado’s smothering defense.
“It’s not the same person scoring every game, and that’s great,” Flores said. “It’s a different person almost every single time. To have that ability, I don’t think a lot of other teams have that.”
Leading the charge for Texas is the emerging duo of sophomore forward Cyera Hintzen and freshman forward Haley Berg. The former club teammates have accounted for four of the team’s eight goals, and earned 10 of the 24 total points this season.
But Friday isn’t the Longhorn’s only weekend obstacle. On Sunday, Texas will face Northeastern, a team boasting a 4–2 record. Facing the Huskies will offer another tough turnaround for what is sure to be a Friday-night slugfest.
Still, head coach Angela Kelly embraces the challenge. For a program eyeing a bid in the NCAA tournament in December, a demanding weekend is exactly what they’ve been preparing for.
“If you’re going to win the NCAA tournament anywhere in the program’s future, you have to be able to play Friday-Sunday,” Kelly said.
For now the team remains focused on staying perfect. One program is going to receive a notch in the loss column after Friday. Texas is doing everything it can to ensure that it’s Colorado.
“Colorado is a quality squad,” Kelly said. “(They) did exceptionally well in the Pac-12 last year. We’re in for a battle. And we’re excited about that.”