LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech soccer team suffered its first conference loss Sunday afternoon as 12th-ranked Oklahoma State defeated the Red Raiders, 2-0, at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
Tech (8-3/1-1 Big 12) was without All-Big 12 first teamer junior Taylor Lytle for the fourth-straight game as she could only play eight minutes due to an injury she suffered against North Texas on Sept. 12.
"As we've said, the intensity goes up a notch in conference play, and this game was certainly no exception to that," stated head coach Tom Stone. "
Texas Tech was pinned into its own end by an aggressive OSU team and a 25 mph wind running straight down the field.
"We were under some pressure early on and the wind was brutal coming right at us," Stone said. "However, we handled it pretty well and were starting to find our forwards and get some attacking presence of our own when we gave up our first goal of the game, and then we had to chase the game. This is not the type of goal we have given up all year, but one mistake against a good team like OSU and it's 1-0."
OSU (9-1-1/2-0 Big 12) got the early goal when the left winger served a ball across the Red Raider box. With senior goalkeeper Colleen Pitts having a play on the ball and right back junior Madison Terry cutting off her player on the back post, it was a routine play that went wrong when neither player cleared the ball leaving OSU leading scorer, junior Krista Lopez, wide open to tap the ball in for the first goal of the game in the fifth minute of play.
Tech was out shot for the half but spirits were high at halftime about equalizing the game in the second half.
"Sure, we had the wind and hoped to get after them a bit with numbers going the other way," Stone said. "Unfortunately, our quality in transition was poor, we were beaten to most of the first and second balls and OSU played very well to close out the game with the lead.
With Tech playing four forwards, including junior Casey McCall, the Cowgirls secured the win with under eight minutes to go on a counter attack whereby Lopez connected for her second goal left-footed after getting around the Tech backline and firing a shot to the far post.
"OSU showed why they are a top-ranked team," stated Stone. "They were very hard to the ball and were rarely rattled. They got the lead and knew what to do with it to secure the win."
Tech's best chances to score were from sophomore Dawn Ward, who got around the OSU backline and sent a shot wide, and sophomore Tiffini Smith's blast from second distance, which forced OSU's keeper to tip it over for a Tech corner kick.
Pitts returned to the nets playing all 90 minutes with eight saves. Pitts now has a 5-2 record in goal on the year.
Tech returns home to host Colorado on Fri., Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., and Nebraska on Sun., Oct. 3, at 1 p.m., at the John Walker Soccer Complex.