Senior Tiffini Smith scored her sixth career goal Friday night.
November 2, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Texas Tech's Big 12 Championship run came to a close late Friday night as the Red Raiders fell to Baylor 2-1 in a tightly contested match at Blossom Stadium.
Baylor found the back of the net in the 79th minute to break a longstanding 1-1 tie and advance to Sunday's championship match. Texas Tech outshot the Bears 15-12 on the night, but with loss fell to 15-5-1 on the season after advancing to the semifinals for the first time in program history.
"I am proud of our team and the brand of soccer we played in the challenging circumstances of this game," Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone said. "We obviously had the vast majority of possession and had several excellent shots in the second half which were blocked. We even hit the post as the final horn went off--it's tough to ask for much more from our team."
The Red Raiders now await their postseason fate with the NCAA Tournament selection show scheduled for Monday at 3:30 p.m. (CT).
Friday's loss is the second in as many tries against Baylor (16-1-4) as Tech fell to the Bears 3-2 in double-overtime on Oct. 5 in Lubbock.
Baylor struck early in just the fourth minute of play when senior Hanna Gillamore scored off a deflection in front of the Texas Tech net. The score, at the 3:36 mark of play, was the earliest goal surrendered by Texas Tech on the year.
The Red Raiders responded though when senior Tiffini Smith connected for her first goal of the season when she sent a long header from outside the penalty box up and over Baylor goalkeeper Michelle Kloss to tie the match in the 21st minute.
The goal was Smith's sixth of her career, and came off a long deflected free kick from junior Hayley Haagsma.
Texas Tech and Baylor entered the halftime break knotted in the 1-1 tie and continued a physical back-and-forth battle well into the second half.
The Bears then struck late with the game-winning goal when Lisa Sliwinski scored in 79th minute off a deflected shot inside the six-yard box. It marked the senior's third goal of the season against the Red Raiders after striking twice against Tech in Lubbock.
Texas Tech made a late push and created its best scoring chance with back-to-back opportunities in the 85th minute when Smith took a well-placed feed in front of the net, but had a strong shot blocked by a wall of Baylor defenders. SeniorMorgan Johnson took the deflection near midfield and found a breakaway opportunity in the Baylor defense.
Johnson beat a defender inside the penalty box then rifled a shot that soared just over the crossbar and out of play.
The Red Raiders then nearly tied the match when Haagsma took a cross from Johnson and sent a header that deflected off the cross bar as time expired.
Friday's loss brought a six-match unbeaten streak to a close with the Red Raiders' last defeat coming to Baylor in double overtime at the John Walker Soccer Complex.