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2H Rallies Producing Texas Wins

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2H Rallies Producing Texas Wins

Texas is now 3-0 in the Southwest.

Texas is one game away from winning the Southwest DI conference title. The Longhorns are 3-0 and have one more match against Texas Tech this weekend, thus ending home-and-away series with its two conference mates. The league victor will move onto the fall DI championship, the details of which have yet to be released.

Sunday’s game against Texas A&M was particularly thrilling, as Texas took an early 14-0 lead before the Aggies rallied with four consecutive tries. The Longhorns trailed 24-12 at the break.

“It says something about the Texas fight: All three of our games, we’ve had to come back in the second half,” said Texas coach Pattie Adams, who joined the program in spring 2015. “We play tough teams, and they out-size us both physically and in numbers. Initially, we get pushed around in the scrum and rucks, but what benefits us in the second half is our fitness. We move, we’re mobile, and eventually the other team gets tired out. It’s working for us; we’ve yet to face a team that has our strengths.”

Senior flanker Casey Reynolds set the pace and did an excellent job propelling her team into the lead.

“She the complete package; her skills, fitness, brain are all turned on,” Adams praised. “She’s the type of player a coach dreams about. She makes her tackle and then rucks her own ball. She’s always a good performer.”

Small and very quick, scrumhalf Kristen Karsten did well to challenge her opposite and disrupt good ball for A&M. Karsten spread the attack, getting the ball into the hands of burners like Tessa Dennis, who ended the game with three tries (two from No. 8 and one from fullback), Hanae Islam, Danesha Shipman, newcomer Katie Pennartz, and international transfer Amelia Birt. Texas assistant/backs coach Rachel Haungs has done well to ensure the back line performs under pressure.

Texas ran in four tries during the third quarter and tacked on two more before the end of the match. The Aggies scored three tries, too, but it wasn’t enough, as Texas triumphed 46-41.

“That was the closest game we’ve had so far. It was a nailbiter every minute,” Adams said. “We love playing A&M. They’re our best competition for a good, clean, hard game. They’re very physical, fit girls, and are well coached by Nick James.”

Texas has won its conference games despite the rash of injuries that has forced multiple position moves. Adams indicated that squad has 20 healthy, active players on the roster, and half are rookies brand new to the sport. The players knew coming into the season that it was going to be trying, especially while trying to fill the void left by graduates Wendy Sun, Jacklyn Acosta, Julia Cassill, among others. But during the pre-season meeting, the players voted for a competitive season that built toward nationals – a goal toward which Adams was happy to coach.

“I’m a facilitator. If the team wanted to be social and have fun as a club sport, then I would have coached to that,” Adams said. “But they want to go to nationals and see where we stand.”