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Red Raiders Fall to Oklahoma State in Big 12 Semifinals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Texas Tech’s run at the Big 12 Championship came to an end late Friday as the Red Raiders fell to Oklahoma State 1-0 in a tightly contested semifinal match at the Swope Soccer Village.
With the loss, Texas Tech drops to 17-2-2 on the season while suffering its first defeat in 16-matches, and its first away from home in the 2013 season.
The Red Raiders held a 15-7 advantage in shots, most of which came on several promising attacks in the second half. However, Tech couldn’t find the equalizer as a first half Cowgirl goal by freshman Courtney Dike proved to be the game-winner.
“I thought we played great in the second half,” Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone said. “You have to credit Oklahoma State because they were playing for their lives. They blocked shots and blocked crosses and did what it took to win. Although, I thought for sure we would draw it even and win in it. They weathered the storm and that’s why they are advancing.”
Oklahoma State’s game-winner came in the 22nd minute of play when Madison Mercado’s corner kick found Dike on the far side of the Tech goal where she headed it past senior goalkeeper Victoria Esson. Dike’s goal marked the first surrendered by Texas Tech in the opening half this season, and only the seventh allowed by the Red Raiders this year.
Texas Tech entered the halftime break trailing 1-0 before the Cowgirls opened the second half with two quick attacks. Esson made a diving save on the first attempt, punching a Dike shot wide of the Red Raider goal. Esson, who entered the game with a five-match shutout streak, ended the night with two saves.
The Red Raiders then took possession and swung the tempo in their favor with a flurry of attacks on the other end.
Tech sophomore Alli Murphy ignited the Red Raider attack with back-to-back shots, the first of which missed wide, and the follow-up corralled by Cowgirl goalkeeper Michela Ongaro.
The Red Raiders created back-to-back scoring opportunities once again when Hannah Devine just missed on a shot inside the penalty area off a cross by Jaelene Hinkle on the left side. Tech followed it with another chance when sophomore Janine Beckie fired a blast from the top of the penalty box, but it was blocked by a Cowgirl defender.
Tech went on to hold a 12-3 advantage in shots during the second half, but couldn’t get one past Ongaro guarding the Cowgirl net. The freshman ended the night with four saves, all of which came in final 45 minute period.
The Red Raiders now await their NCAA Tournament fate with the selection committee announcing the 64-team field on Monday.