Texas Tech Downs Kansas in Big 12 Tournament, 2-0
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Two second half goals by the Red Raiders lifted Texas Tech past the Kansas Jayhawks, 2-0, Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Soccer Championship held at Blossom Soccer Complex.
The loss eliminates the Jayhawks from the conference tournament and drops them to 10-8-2 overall, while TTU improves to 15-4-1 and advances to face the winner of the Oklahoma State-Baylor match in the semifinals Friday.
For the second time in 10 days, the Jayhawks and Red Raiders tangled in a see-saw affair, which again favored Texas Tech. After playing even through the first two-thirds of the match, TTU’s all-conference freshman, Janine Beckie was open in front of KU’s near post which she used to her advantage, chipping in her 12th goal of the year to give her team a 1-0 advantage in the 58th minute.
Over the next 25 minutes KU continued attempts to pull the match even, but was unable to capitalize on several scoring chances. Freshman Ashley Williams put in a pair of strong strikes in the 76th and 77th minutes, however the Red Raiders’ junior goalkeeper, Victoria Esson, was there for two of her six saves on the day.
Just a minute later, another KU freshman, Courtney Dickerson, had a prime opportunity to knot up the score. After the Jayhawks found themselves with the numbers advantage in a break downfield, Dickerson headed a ball on goal following a strong cross by junior Caroline Kastor. It was again not to be however, as Esson nabbed the attempt.
The Red Raiders all but clinched the game in the 82nd minute with their second goal of the half. With the Jayhawks sending several players forward into attacking roles, TTU was on the right side of a two-on-one break, which ended with senior Dawn Ward shooting in a ball off a rebound from just over five yards out and putting her team up by a score of 2-0.
The Jayhawks kept fighting though, trying to pull off the comeback and advance to the Friday night semifinal. In the 88th minute senior Sarah Robbins found position at the top of the 12-yard spot and elevated for a header the looped off the TTU cross bar, which summed up a frustrating match for KU.
Several frantic attempts over the final seconds were not to be as the Jayhawks fell to the Red Raiders, 2-0 and were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament.
Kansas was the better team in the opening half with the Jayhawks controlling the pace of play for the majority of the first 45 minutes. Kansas outshot the Red Raiders 8-3 in the first period, including a 3-0 clip for shots on goal. Kastor and Dickerson gave themselves great chances several times during the half, none better than in the 20th minute when Kastor connected on a header 10 yards from the TTU goal after a long cross from Dickerson, only to see her shot sail high and out of play.
Dickerson was the offensive leader on the day for KU, connecting on a team-high four shots, each of them on frame. KU outshot their opponent for the 14th time this season, striking 15 shots to Texas Tech’s 12.
The senior starters, Robbins and Amy Grow amassed two shots apiece while Whitney Berry connected on one shot in their final appearances in a KU uniform. In her final game in goal as a Jayhawk, senior Kat Liebetrau tallied one save and allowed more than one goal for just the third time this season.
The loss likely ends KU’s season at 10-8-2. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 5 on NCAA.com.
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