Oct. 26, 2007
For 80 minutes of the contest Baylor controlled everything about its home finale against Texas Tech; it was the last ten minutes in which the Bears gave up two unanswered goals that gave Baylor its ninth loss of the season as the Red Raiders rallied late for a 2-1 victory at Betty Lou Mays Field on Friday.
Baylor was out-shooting Texas Tech for most of the match, and while they don't appear on any stats sheet, the Bears had far more scoring opportunities on the night. Just two minutes into the contest the Bears took the ball deep into Texas Tech territory and had several attempts that were either saved or misdirected by the Red Raider defense.
The offensive outbursts continued as Baylor had several similar situations throughout the contest.
Following a scoreless first half of action, Baylor had six shots and goalkeeper Ashley Noah had recorded three saves while Texas Tech had just four shots and Red Raider netminder Tina Rincon was forced to make six saves.
The Bears returned to the field in the second half and continued to control the ball. Following several physical battles in which Baylor was denied a goal, senior Jessica Hutton picked up a loose ball in front of the net and beat Rincon for her sixth goal of the season to give the Bears a 1-0 lead at the 74:17 mark.
Baylor stayed on its offensive attack for nearly another ten minutes following Hutton's goal, but the game's momentum quickly changed hands when Texas Tech took advantage of one of its six corner kicks during the 83rd minute. Julie Conn set up in the right corner and sailed a ball into the box that Sarabeth Clopton was able to get a head on and put in the back of the net to tie the game at one.
After several heated battles for possession, the Red Raiders quickly pushed the ball down the center of the field before Priscilla Esquivel served Zhaleh Rezaie a running ball down the left side of the field. Rezaie beat one defender and kicked the ball just inches off the ground and into the net to give Texas Tech its go-ahead goal at the 85:49 mark.
Although disappointed, the Bears continued to battle for the final four-plus minutes of action before seeing their home record fall to 4-4-1 on the season after they had protected Betty Lou Mays Field with a 4-0 record to begin the season.
"Our girls never gave up tonight," said head coach George Van Linder. "We missed some opportunities throughout the match and there are some girls right now asking themselves `what if,' but we played a good game tonight. This was a tough loss for a special group of seniors playing in front of their family and friends for the final time at home, but they've got a lot to be proud of. This wasn't the end of our season, we've still got one game to play and we're not going to take it any lighter than we would any other match."
Noah finished the night with six saves as Texas Tech ultimately out-shot Baylor 13-10.
The tough physical and mental game ended with a total of five yellow cards being issued as part of 27 combined fouls.
Baylor gets the rest of the weekend off and will return to action for its final regular season match of the year as the Bears travel to College Station, Texas, to face a nationally ranked Texas A&M squad. Game time for the season finale is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Complex.