No. 25 Texas Tech soccer falls to Kansas, 2-1, in Big 12 opener - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

No. 25 Texas Tech soccer falls to Kansas, 2-1, in Big 12 opener

Texas Tech Soccer (Source: Texas Tech Athletics) Texas Tech Soccer (Source: Texas Tech Athletics)

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 25 Texas Tech soccer team dropped its first match of the Big 12 conference portion of the schedule, 2-1, at Kansas on Friday night at Rock Chalk Park.

The lone goal for the Red Raiders (7-2-2, 0-1-0) came from junior defender Cassie Conarty from about 20 yards from the net in the sixth minute. Both of the Jayhawk's (6-3-2, 1-0-0) scores were from penalty kicks, coming in the 40th and 66th minutes.

"We started off with lots of promise," head coach Tom Stone said. "Cassie scored a great goal after a long run from right back. Then we took our foot off the gas and Kansas played well to get back into the game and equalize on a PK before the half."

Tech began the night strong, logging the first three shots of the match. Junior defender Cassie Conarty took control of the ball at midfield in the sixth minute, swerved around a couple Jayhawk defenders and placed one perfectly from 20 yards out to the right side of the KU goal and in to put the Red Raiders up, 1-0.

The tally was the first of the season for the Allen, Texas, native, making her the ninth Red Raider goal-scorer in 2016. It also took over as the fastest goal for Tech this season, passing freshman forward Jade King's ninth-minute score against Abilene Christian on Sept. 4.

The Jayhawks sent a barrage of attacks toward the Red Raider net after Tech's goal, putting up 10 shots overall over the next 34 minutes, with a couple from Tech sprinkled in during the stretch. With the half winding down and the ball in the Red Raider zone, Tech was signaled for a foul in the box after an attempt to wrestle the ball away. With a penalty kick looming, KU called upon forward Ashley Pankey to take the shot, which she converted to tie the match at one with the clock stopped in the 40th minute.

Kansas outshot the Red Raiders, 11-4, in the tied first half of play, with four on goal overall for the Jayhawks. The only shot on goal for Tech was Conarty's marker.

"The second half was much like the first," Stone said. "KU had a fair share of the ball and then the game came down to a few big moments. Another PK call for KU and us having a goal called back for offsides. Despite throwing everything at them in the last 15 minutes, we could not break through to equalize and push it to overtime."

Over the course of the first nine minutes of the second half, no shots were registered by either team. Kansas put the first two of the frame toward the net, with senior goalkeeper Lauren Watson taking in her fourth of the night. Shortly after earning their first corner kick of the night in the 56th minute, the Red Raiders found opportunities from King and freshman forward Tatum Barton, but both traveled above the crossbar.

In the 66th minute, Tech got called for another foul inside their own box, setting up a second Jayhawk PK. Midfielder Grace Hagan took the penalty and converted for the 2-1 lead midway through the second half.

The Red Raiders would only get one more shot toward the net in the remainder of the half, as a free kick from junior defender Rebekah O'Brien sailed over the crossbar in the 77th minute. Tech would finish the night with seven shots overall.

It appeared Tech had the equalizer with a little under three minutes to go in the frame; however, a pass to sophomore defender Cassie Boren was ruled offside, whistled just before her shot went past the diving keeper and into the net.

The final snapped a six-match win streak over the Jayhawks and marked the third-straight season the Red Raiders had not picked up a victory in their Big 12 opener. The last win for Tech to open the Big 12 slate came in 2013, when the Red Raiders posted an 18-2-3 record.

"I think KU deserves credit for playing well today and after six wins in-a-row for us against them, the streak had to end at some point," Stone said. "But we don't have much time to dwell on it with another Big 12 match Sunday at home vs. Iowa State looming large."

The Red Raiders have a quick turnaround, as they return home to face Iowa State (7-2-0, 1-0-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the John Walker Soccer Complex.

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