AUSTIN, Texas – Sunday afternoon at Mike A. Myers Stadium, sophomore forward Trinity Byars played a direct role in each of the Longhorns’ two scores while his 86th-minute goal helped the No. 20 Texas Football (6-1-2) rally for a 2-2 draw against a loaded UCF of seniors (2-2-4 ) team.
Texas Game Notes
- Byars’ goal was his team-leading eighth of the season, while the second-year midfielder Lexi Missimo opened the scoring for the Longhorns in the 43rd minute with his fifth goal of 2022.
- With three points on a goal and an assist against UCF, Byars has now recorded at least three points in a single game eight times in his 30 career games. She is currently riding a point streak by scoring at least one point in five straight games for the second time in her career (the previous was a record-breaking eight-game program from September 12 to October 8, 2021).
- Byars’ goal was the 20th of her career, moving her just one score away from entering Texas’ career top 10 (21 goals – tied for 10th between Julia GrossoAlanna Makinano and Katie Baruth).
- Now with 58 career points, Missimo is just one point away from entering the Texas career top 10 alongside former Texas All-American Kasey Moore (10th – 59 points – 2005-08).
- Texas extended its unbeaten streak to seven straight games since Aug. 28 against Florida.
- The Longhorns edged the Knights 16-13, while the teams were tied at 7-7 on shots on target. UT held a 6-1 advantage on corner kicks.
- Second-year midfielder Jilly Shimkin’s assist was his third of the year (tied for fifth on the team).
- Texas Certified Goalie Savanna Madness made a season-high tying six saves against UCF.
From the kickoff, the teams spent time feeling each other out as neither team managed a single shot until 8:50.
That early chance proved good for Texas, however, as Missimo fired a shot 17 yards from the top of the box that deflected to the right. About 15 seconds later, Byars took possession and hit his own 16-yard try, but UCF goaltender Caroline DeLisle was there to save and smother any rebound.
The Longhorns were back in the 12th minute. Byars dribbled down the right wing before crossing a ball towards the near post. The wait was Missimo, but his 10-yard volley was blocked for a corner.
UCF recorded their first shot of the game on a Texas turnover in the 20th minute. After sweeping an errant UT pass down the middle, Ellie Moreno dribbled to the top of the box and shot straight into Madden’s arms.
As the game continued to open up, the back and forth continued at 25:19 as Texas’ Shimkin tried his luck from the top of the box but fired his shot one foot past the left post.
The Knights pulled off a key substitution at 33:13 when Dayana Martin entered the game and wasted little time making her presence felt.
Martin came into action after a quick break at 36:44 as his 19-yard shot was caught by Madden. On a UCF cross from the right wing just 1:16 later, Martin jumped high to direct a 12-yard effort just wide of the right.
Meanwhile, Texas was slipping away as Missimo (39:31) and fifth-year senior midfielder Emma Ragan (41:25) shot over 30 yards.
The Burnt Orange & White finally broke the deadlock scoreless at 42:11. Shimkin started it all off with a steal before passing the ball to Byars. The Richardson, Texas native quickly moved to her left between a pair of Knight defenders. Missimo waited to gain possession as he entered the top of the box and quickly bent a 16-yard shot around the keeper and into the bottom right side of the string for a 1-0 lead.
Texas’ advantage lasted just 39 seconds as UCF raced to tie the game at 1-1. Again, it was Martin who caused problems when she received a pass and dribbled hard down the left wing before firing an eight-yard shot inside the right post and into the net.
At halftime, both teams began to look to throw long balls over the opponents’ baseline into space.
The first shot of the second half for either team came from afar, however, as Missimo let fly over the crossbar from over 30 yards out at 57:11.
The Longhorns missed a huge chance to retake the lead at 58:56. A bad back pass from the right wing to the middle was intercepted by Missimo. The Southlake, Texas product shot 16 yards out quickly, but DeLisle managed to deflect it to his right. Byars quickly ran on the loose ball, but his 14-yard follow-up attempt was blocked before UCF could clear him for a corner.
On the other side, UCF defender Kelis Barton put pressure on the UT defense by picking up a cross from the right wing to the left post. A Texas defender had an inside position on a UCF forward, but her sliding punt attempt deflected Madden and into the string for an own goal to give the Knights a shocking 2-1 lead.
After Texas freshman forward Liz Worden missed wide at nine yards in the 69th minute, UCF came within inches of adding to their advantage.
With possession inside the 18, UCF’s Anna Henderson fired a shot on the frame which was saved by Madden. A defection bounced past Mia Asenjo, but her 13-yard follow-up try rumbled off the crossbar before Texas could clear their lines.
Following a EmJ Cox header that missed the right from eight yards out (79:29), UCF’s Mallory Olsson broke the right wing on a turnover but hit his 10-yard attempt straight at Madden.
With the Longhorns pressing hard, the equalizer finally came at 85:19. Shimkin started the game from fullback near UT’s defensive third as the Rockville Center, NY native threw a long ball uphill. The pass bounced just outside the top of 18 as Byars managed to split two UCF defenders and pushed hard in a 1-on-1 situation. DeLisle managed to deflect the first shot to his right, but Byars pounced on the rebound, finishing five yards out to tie the game at 2-2.
Texas fifth-year senior forward Mackenzie McFarland forced DeLisle back into action at 85:30 as her try from 15 yards from the top of the penalty area rolled straight into the keeper’s arms.
Martin nearly swept the game for UCF at 87:12 as a long, upward fly ball knocked the head off a Texas defender before landing directly in the speedster’s path. Martin moved 1v1 from the left wing but had his eight-yard shot smothered by Madden for the game’s sixth and final goalkeeper save.
With 1:30 to go on the clock, Martin had the last chance of the contest for either team as his 30-yard shot traveled well to the right.