Halloween Night: UT 2, Texas A&M 1. It's hard to imagine how a game could get any more dramatic than this, the Horns' second straight double-overtime win to close out the regular season. Consider just some of the major storylines:
The Finish: Not one, but two last-minute goals: Kati McBain's stunner with just 37 seconds left in regulation to lift the Horns into overtime, and Nikki Thaden's penalty kick in the last minute of the second overtime to win it. (If that's not cutting it close enough, the Aggie keeper guessed right on the PK, and got a piece of the ball before it went in the net.)
The Star: Senior midfielder McBain, almost an offensive afterthought this season, after scoring 27 points last year, gets her first goal of the year in the last minute of regulation, of what may have been the last home game of her career. How sweet is that?
The Big Game: The winner would claim second place in the Big 12, with the loser dropping all the way to fifth, and a much harder road through the conference tournament. With the win, the Longhorns vaulted from 24th to 11th in the national rankings, and made a good case for getting to host an NCAA Regional.
The Rivalry: Not just UT vs. A&M. These Horns had never beaten A&M in the history of the soccer program; the Aggies, ranked 6th in the country, had knocked UT out of the Big 12 tourney in each of the last two years, and in their last visit to Austin, had humiliated the Horns 6-0, spoiling a perfect Big 12 record in 2001.
But that was then. This is now, and the Horns head into the postseason playing their best ball of the year. (See Big 12 conference tournament info below; NCAAs begin Nov. 14.)
Big 12 Final Standings
Top eight qualify for Conference Tournament
MLS playoffs continue this weekend. Televised game of the week: The Chicago Fire isn't going to erase the pain of the Cubbies, but they're the best in the league right now, and should polish off D.C. United (noon, Sunday, Nov. 9, ESPN2). Out west, top seed San Jose is in deep trouble against L.A.
Euro Champions League: Giants Real Madrid and Juventus become the first teams to advance to the next round; Manchester United spanks the Glasgow Rangers for the second time in two weeks, and Arsenal stays (barely) alive with an 88th-minute tally. More online; play continues Nov. 25-26.
Big 12 conference tournament Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, Nov. 6, 7, & 9, in San Antonio. UT plays No. 7 seed Oklahoma State Thursday at 5pm. If they win, they'll play the Kansas-Oklahoma winner on Friday at 5pm or (less likely) 7:30pm. The final is Sunday at 1pm; it'll be televised live on Fox Sports Southwest. Blossom Soccer Complex in San Antonio (Take I-35 South to 410 West; exit at Starcrest Drive; right on Starcrest; left on Bitters; Blossom Soccer Complex is on the left, behind the football field.)