By NU Athletic Communications
San Antonio, Texas - The Nebraska soccer team hung tough with the league's hottest team, but Kelsey Carpenter broke a scoreless tie with the game-winning goal in the seventh minute of the first overtime period to lift Texas to a 1-0 win in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday night.
The win was the seventh straight for the third-seeded Longhorns (16-3-1), who advanced to Friday's semifinal against No. 2 seed Oklahoma State. The loss eliminated Nebraska from the Big 12 Championship in the opening round for just the second time in program history. NU's only other first round loss also came to the Longhorns in 2004
Carpenter’s goal came in the 97th minute as she broke through the Husker defense and fired a clear shot past a diving save attempt from NU sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Klages. It was one of 24 shots for the Horns on the game, compared to just eight by the Huskers.
This the fifth time in Nebraska soccer history that the Huskers played in extra minutes at the Big 12 Championship, but the first time that NU didn’t come out with the win. The contest was the seventh overtime match for the Huskers this season, with Nebraska posting a record of 2-2-3 in extra minutes.
The Longhorns enjoyed an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal on the gain, while also gaining 11 corners and holding Nebraska to four. The NU defense gave a remarkable performance through the UT offensive onslaught, led by Klages, who posted an especially brilliant performance with seven saves on the game.
Despite being outshot 8-4 in the first half, Nebraska was more selective and accurate in its shots, earning two shots on goal to just one from Texas. Sophomore forward Ali Lokanc fired NU’s first attempt in the 34th minute with a ball she rocketed directly at UT goalkeeper Dianna Pfenninger, who was able to make the save.
Nebraska’s other solid first-half scoring opportunity came from sophomore Aysha Jamani off a beautiful set up from freshman defender Anna Caniglia and senior forward Brittany Timko. In one of several aggressive offensive moves in the game, Caniglia brought the ball up the left side and found Timko in the center of the field who fired it back out to an open Jamani in the left corner. Despite a shallow angle, Jamani was able to bend the ball toward the goal, but was rejected by a leaping punch from Pfenninger at 18:43.
After a scoreless first half, the Huskers came out of halftime and quickly put pressure on the Horns with a near goal from freshman Carly Peetz just two minutes into the period. Nebraska earned a corner kick on the left side with Timko finding Peetz near the net. But Pfenninfger got to the ball at the same time as Peetz and after a brief struggle for possession, the Horns came out with the ball.
Nebraska had another pair of solid chances in the final 10 minutes, but was twice denied by the Texas defense after Pfenninger bobbled the initial save. NU sophomore Jessie Goodell fired the first shot, but was rejected by the UT defenders after the Pfenninger misstep. Sophomore Selenia Iacchelli gathered the open ball following the play, but was again denied on a huge save by the Horns’ defense.
Texas continued an aggressive game that included four shots in a three minute span at the start of the half on its way to 14 shots on the period to just four from the Huskers. Fortunately for Nebraska, Klages bricked up the goal, making six saves in the second period, most of which came on close-range shots by a powerful Texas offense.
Helping Klages in that effort was the NU defense, including an outstanding effort by sophomore Lindsay Poehling, who saved a certain goal by Carpenter in the 56th minute when she got next to the near post to block a shot on an open goal.
But NU’s defensive fortitude eventually gave way and launched the Horns into the next round of the championship, while the Huskers return to Lincoln to await their NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on Monday, Nov. 6.