Redbirds Can't Find Equalizer in 2-1 Loss at Texas
AUSTIN, Texas - Despite a number of scoring opportunities in the second half, including a penalty kick, an equalizing goal proved elusive for the Illinois State soccer team in its 2-1 loss to Texas, Sunday afternoon at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Rachel Tejada scored in the second-straight match for ISU's lone tally.
The Redbirds (2-4-0) trailed 2-1 at the half, with Texas (3-2-1) controlling the pace and scoring twice after Tejada put the Redbirds up in the game's second minute. ISU turned things around in the second half, generating numerous threats as time wound down. Most notably, Dagny Olson had a one-on-one opportunity with UT keeper Abby Smith in the 74th minute that Smith stopped, before Hannah Leinert earned a penalty kick with just over three minutes left that Tejada couldn't convert by Smith.
"It was unfortunate that we couldn't find that equalizer, because I thought we deserved a draw today," head coach Drew Roff said. "I'm really proud of the team's effort. It's really hot down here in Texas, and Texas is a really athletic team.
"In the second half we carried the game and created some great chances," Roff added. "I wish we got the result, but we didn't. I don't think we'll find a tougher environment than we played in today, so I think it's going to bode really well for our future."
Tejada got the Redbirds off to the quick lead with her second goal of the season. Kyla Cross cut in from the right side before slotting a pass to Tejada at the top of the penalty area. Tejada shielded off the Texas defender, turned, and fired a shot inside the right post and past a diving Smith to give ISU a 1-0 lead.
Texas scored both of its first-half goals on headers. Sharis Lachappelle evened the match in the 13th minute, heading home a cross played into the box from the right side by Kelsey Shimmick for her first goal of the season. Then, with the first half winding down, Brooke Gilbert scored her team-leading third goal of the season by rising above the Redbird defense to head in a corner kick from Isabelle Kerr.
The Longhorns outshot the Redbirds 20-8. Lachappelle led all players with six, while Tejada paced the Redbirds with five. Aryn Newsom made six stops for ISU, compared to three by Smith.
After playing four-straight matches on the road, ISU will play its next four games at home, beginning Friday with SEMO.
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