AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Tech soccer team dropped a hard-fought battle with No. 8 Texas, 3-2, in double overtime on Friday night at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
The Red Raiders (8-3-1, 1-1-1) suffered their first loss in a conference match this season to the Longhorns (11-0-0, 3-0-0). It was the third overtime match of the year and second in as many games, playing to a 1-1 draw against KU on Sunday, Sept. 24.
“It was unfortunate and a bit unjust to have dropped this game, which was certainly there for the taking,” head coach Tom Stone said. “We had the ball a ton and it took two of the best shots we have seen all year to get the win for our opponents today.”
Tech scored in the final five minutes of both halves to tie the contest, with junior midfielder Gwennie Puente striking in the 40th minute, followed by sophomore forward Jade King with two minutes left in the match to force OT. Unfortunately, Texas’ Cyera Hintzen scored the game-winner at the 101′ mark to steal the victory.
The Red Raiders racked up 17 shots, including 12 on goal, with King leading the way with all four of her shots registered on net. UT finished with 21 shots, eight on goal, while the two teams combined for nine corners, four earned by Tech.
“When we went down 1-0, I was not at all concerned that we wouldn’t equalize,” Stone said. “We just had too much of the game not to get one of our own and we got it just before the half. It was a great sequence that got us into the box and Gwennie did very well to tuck it in and get us level.
“Now, when they went up 2-1 with 12 minutes to go, I knew we’d need a great response to push it to OT and once again we got it. Rebekah O’Brien’s ball to Jade King was class and Jade’s finish was clean into the far corner.”
The Longhorns struck first in Friday’s match, as midfielder Haley Berg controlled a popped up header nine yards deep in the box, then sent a shot to the left end of the net for the score.
It was just the fourth time this season an opponent has scored first against the Red Raiders.
With time winding down in the opening half, senior defender Cassie Conarty launched a deep ball from the top of the Tech box to midfield, where Griffin popped the ball into attacking territory with a header. Her service found King, who took the ball and fired a shot on net, but UT’s Curry pushed the ball away with a diving punch. However, Griffin charged after the ball at the right corner of the box and found a collapsing Puente, who rifled a shot to the left corner of the goal for the equalizer.
Puente’s marker was her second score of the season, her first coming against San Diego State on Sept. 15. It was also Griffin’s first assist of the year, giving her a team-high 11 points in 2017.
Her goal also snapped Texas’ shutout streak of 357:01, dating back to Sept. 10 against Northeastern. Texas’ match against Huskies also resulted in a 3-2 finish.
In the 78th minute, UT’s Cyera Hintzen broke the tie with a shot to the top-right corner of the net from 25 yards out, giving the Longhorns a 2-1 lead. Tech immediately returned to the attack after the score, registering three shots over the next eight minutes, two on goal.
With two minutes to go, senior defender Rebekah O’Brien served up the perfect deep ball to King on the right wing, who took it and buried the tying score to the left corner of the goal to send the match to overtime. It was also King’s second goal of the year and O’Brien’s first assist.
Tech had two great opportunities in the first overtime, but we were whistled offside on both occasions. However, UT found the golden goal in the second OT behind Hintzen’s second score of the night after a shot from 19 yards out to the right-corner of the net to give the Longhorns the win.
“Hintzen deserves full credit for one heck of a strike on goal, but the initial ball in should have been easily cleared and we dove in on the turn, which led to the free look at goal.” Stone said. “She is too lethal to give her that look from there. All we can do now is get ready for TCU. It’s a short season now and we need some more results to get us home from here.”