After defeating Stephen F. Austin 5-0 on Sunday, Texas climbed up to No. 18 in the United Soccer Coaches listing. With a 4–0–1 record, Texas has proven that it can compete with the best the country has to offer.
Here’s what the Longhorns need to do to continue their undefeated run and climb up the polls:
Find Cyera Hintzen
The team’s leading goal scorer and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate has been on a tear this season. She has been able to score goals at will against some of the best defenses in the country, including North Carolina and Central Florida. Hintzen only played 16 minutes in Sunday’s blowout win, so expect her to be well-rested and aggressive against the Wildcats.
Against Stephen F. Austin, the Longhorns out-shot the Ladyjacks 25-2, including 9-1 shots on goal. When the Longhorns control possession, it allows for more shots on goal, which results in more chances to score. Look for senior midfielder Katie Glenn to create opportunities for her teammates. She leads the team with four assists.
Avoid slow starts in the second half
Against North Carolina and, most recently, Long Beach State, Texas conceded a goal within the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Longhorns have been able to regroup but need to avoid slow starts in the second half before it costs them a game.
Contain Jordan Kondikoff
Junior midfielder Jordan Kondikoff leads Texas State in goals and assists. After scoring two goals against Prairie View A&M, Kondikoff comes into this matchup on fire. She is their most dynamic player and must be contained. To avoid any chance of an upset, the Longhorns defense must be sharp. Junior goalkeeper Nicole Curry will be aiming for her second straight shutout and third for the season.
Continue making key substitutions
Head Coach Angela Kelly’s timely substitutions have led to three goals by substitutes. She has had great success in the timing of her substitutions, as well as her placement. Against Long Beach State, her substitution of freshman forward Mackenzie McFarland paid immediate dividends after McFarland scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute. It wouldn’t shock anyone if a Kelly substitution proves to be the difference yet again.
Texas will kickoff against Texas State 6 p.m. Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.