Jayhawks Fall to No. 21 Texas Tech, 1-0
LUBBOCK, Texas – A world-class goal from the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Janine Beckie, proved to be the difference as the Kansas Jayhawks fell to No. 21 Texas Tech, 1-0, Friday night inside John Walker Soccer Complex. Beckie netted the eventual game-winner in the 56th minute while Red Raider goalkeeper Lauren Watson tallied eight saves to hand the Jayhawks their second-straight shutout.
The loss dropped Kansas to 8-7-1 on the year, including a 3-3-0 mark in Big 12 play. Texas Tech moved to 9-3-5 in its 2015 campaign with a 2-2-3 mark in the conference.
“We had the better chances today but the difference in the game was a quality finish by a quality player,” said head coach Mark Francis. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on our chances like they did, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We need to regroup. Sunday is obviously a massive game for us. I’m confident though because if we play like we did today, we’ll have a good chance for sure.”
The Jayhawks got out to a fast start in the match, controlling the majority of the possession and creating most of the offensive chances over the opening 30 minutes of action. Kansas outshot the Red Raiders by a tally of 13-5 over the opening half and earned four corner kicks to TTU’s one. But despite the Jayhawks’ dominance in the run of play, they couldn’t solve All-Big 12 Second Team goalkeeper, Lauren Watson and find the back of the net.
Less than three minutes into the second half KU saw perhaps its best look of the game when Ashley Williams found space at the top of the TTU 18-yard box. The senior forward sent in a left-footed curler but the strike was right at Watson, which she collected for her fifth save of the evening.
The Red Raiders took advantage of their first prime chance of the game seven minutes later, when Beckie ran on to a long ball played forward that had got in behind the KU defense. Beckie sent in a bullet strike from the right side of the KU box into the left side netting to give her team the lead. The goal was Beckie’s Big 12-leading 10th goal of the year.
There were some nervous moments over the next 20 minutes of action when the Red Raiders came close to taking a commanding 2-0 lead. The home team hit the KU cross bar twice before the final whistle and also forced Jayhawk keeper Maddie Dobyns into three key second-half saves.
Kansas saw a glimmer of hope with three minutes remaining in regulation when senior Liana Salazar got a promising shot off from 16 yards out. Salazar’s try appeared to be headed for a goal but was tipped over the crossbar for Watson’s most impressive and important save of the match. The try would be KU’s last chance to level the game before the full-time whistle ended the match.
The Jayhawks outshot the Red Raiders 22-14 and were led by Salazar, who added five to the KU stat sheet. KU also amassed eight corners kicks in the match, its most in Big 12 play this season.
The Jayhawks will now play in their final road match of the 2015 regular season when they meet up with the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in Stillwater on Sunday, October 25. Kickoff from the Cowgirl Soccer Complex is slated for 1 p.m.
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