Austin, Texas – Jessie Bruch tried to pull off another spectacular win for the Nebraska soccer team, but the Huskers fell short as they dropped a 3-2 double-overtime loss to Texas at Mike A. Myers Stadium Sunday afternoon.
"We gave an excellent effort," Coach John Walker said. "It was a well-played game, and they ended up scoring a good goal when they needed it."
The Longhorns got on the board first just 10 minutes into the contest on a goal by Kelly McDonald, coming off a long serve by UT goalkeeper Alex Gagarin.
Nebraska never let down during 105 minutes of action, continuing to pressure the Texas defense and making several key stops on the defense.
Sophomore Nikki Baker notched her fifth goal of the season at the 23:47 mark to knot the score at 1-1 and send the teams to the locker room with a clean slate. Baker’s goal came in the box, as she flicked in a Kari Hogan cross from a long Jenna Cooper pass.
Texas came out on fire again in the second half, with Nikki Thaden netting the go-ahead goal for the Longhorns on a ball that slipped through NU goalkeeper Brooke Bredenberg’s hands with just over 11 minutes gone in the period.
As the game wore on and both teams continued to battle, and the Huskers could have easily given up, but Bruch showed once again what a clutch player she is, scoring her seventh goal of the season at the 79:15 mark on an assist by Brittany Timko to once again tie the score.
Both teams tried feverishly to post the game-winner in the final 10 minutes, but no one could break through.
In the first extra period, Bruch almost made another stellar come-from-behind play when a shot at the 94:30 mark went just wide of the net for the only shot of the entire period.
It was Nebraska’s nemesis, McDonald, who did the Huskers in at the 105:05 mark when she posted her sixth goal in the last three games against NU. Her shot was set up by Amy Burlingham and Kristen Teter and just slipped by Bredenberg to clinch the win for the Longhorns.
"We came back two different times when we were very shorthanded," Walker said. "It was a good effort, but it was not the result we wanted. It’s difficult anytime you give that amount of effort. We had two outstanding efforts on the road this weekend and we are playing better as the season goes on."
Texas outshot the Huskers 26-16 for the game, led by Nikki Thaden, who had seven shots for the Longhorns. UT also posted seven shots on goal to Nebraska’s five. NU was led by Bruch with five shots on the day. UT also outcornered the Huskers 13-9.
Bredenberg posted four outstanding saves against UT, but gave up three goals to drop to 10-4-1 on the season. Gagarin allowed two Husker goals and collected three saves on the afternoon.
Nebraska falls to 11-5-1 on the season and 6-3-0 in Big 12 play, while Texas improves to 11-7-0 and 6-3-0 in the conference. Even with its first Big 12 loss at Texas A&M on Sunday, Colorado clinched its first ever Big 12 Conference regular-season title.
The Huskers travel to Boulder to take on the Buffaloes at 4 p.m. Friday, before beginning post-season play the following week in the Big 12 Tournament in San Antonio, Texas. Nebraska claimed the 2002 tournament championship to make it five out of the last seven, and will try to defend that title.