LUBBOCK, TX - The Texas Tech soccer team played to a 1-1 draw with Kansas on Sunday afternoon at the John Walker Soccer Complex, completing the first weekend of Big 12 action.
The Red Raiders (8-2-1, 1-0-1) and the Jayhawks (5-5-2, 0-1-1) finished in a tie for just the second time in the series history, which was also a 1-1 score at the Big 12 Tournament in 2009. It’s the first draw for Tech this season and the just the sixth in Lubbock (69-20-6).
“Today was very disappointing,” head coach Tom Stone said. “I thought we had most of the game, minus a few good counter-attacks by Kansas in the second half. We had all of the best chances and they just didn’t fall. Ally [Griffin] hit the crossbar, I thought that was going to go in for us and somehow we were called offside on the rebound.
“It was a really crazy last five or 10 minutes and we were all in to win the game and I think they were smart to slow it down and get out of here with a point. Credit to them, it doesn’t leave a good taste in our mouth because we thought we had them and we didn’t get out of here with a win.”
Tech finished the contest with 18 shots, with just two on goal, including senior defender Rebekah O’Brien’s 20th minute tally. The Red Raiders held the Jayhawks to 14 shots, with just five over the last 65 minutes of play. Griffin came away with seven shots in the contest, while junior midfielder Carly Wickenheiser posted three, with one on goal in the second half.
Junior Carissa Christensen and freshman Marissa Zucchetto split time in net for Tech, as Christensen came away with four saves after 45 minutes and Zucchetto with three over the final 65 minutes of action.
For the eighth time this season, the Red Raiders struck first in the contest after a Kansas foul occurred in the 20th minute about 25 yards away from the goal. O’Brien took the free kick and delivered a perfect strike to the upper-left corner of the frame, with outstretched keeper’s fingertips getting a tiny sliver of it before flying into the net for her first score of the season and a 1-0 lead.
“That’s kind of her spot,” Stone on O’Brien’s goal. “She scored from there against Iowa State last year, which was also our Sunday match on conference opening weekend last season. She did it again today. It’s a good spot, left-to-right, and even if the keeper knows it’s going to the upper corner, it’s more than likely going in. We have a lot of confidence in her on that play. We recruited her because of her ball striking and its paid dividends for us.”
With the score, O’Brien became the ninth different Red Raider to notch a goal for Tech this season and the second of the weekend. On Friday night against K-State, sophomore midfielder Jordie Harr tallied her first marker of the year.
In the 38th minute, Kansas found the equalizer after a pair of passes from Madison Meador and Amari Hopkins after the Jayhawks snuck into attacking zone and found Sophie Maierhofer in the center of the box. From there, Maierhofer pushed a shot to the right-corner of the goal to tie the match at one.
Tech recorded nine shots in the second frame, while earning four corner kicks for a match total of seven. The Red Raiders had a great opportunity to come away with another victory in the 106th minute on a chance by Griffin. After picking up a feed at the left corner of the box, Griffin charged toward the net and rifled a shot that dinged off the crossbar and popped up to the six-yard line. However, Tech was whistled offside on the rebound to thwart another scoring attempt.
“If you saw last year’s Kansas, you’d know they just had their way with getting the ball from back-to-front and had a lot of passes up to their forwards,” Stone said. “We did a good job today of disrupting that. It’s what they’re very good at so if you don’t stop it, it’s going to be a rough day. We stuck to the game plan, executed it and took great pride of getting everything out that was bouncing around in the box today.”
The Red Raiders return to action on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. against Texas in Austin.
(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)
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