ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – No. 22 Texas Tech dropped a tightly-played match at New Mexico Sunday evening, losing 1-0 on a controversial first half penalty kick.
“It’s tough to take a road loss like this when you play as well as we did,” said head coach Tom Stone after the game. “We owned every single stat, but they got the most important one – the goal.”
The Red Raiders and Lobos went at it from the beginning, playing physical and fast. Thirteen fouls in the first half alone prompted officials to repeatedly call for an end to jersey and arm pulling. The physical play paid off the Lobos with four seconds remaining in the first half when a New Mexico attacker wound up on the ground in the box. A penalty was awarded, and Alesia Garcia answered the call and converted to send her squad to halftime with the lead.
The two squads emerged from the break with the same physical play, but it was Tech who created far more chances. The Red Raiders racked up 12 shots and eight corners in the second half, nearly converting on several. In the winding moments, the Red Raiders pushed the lines up for the tying score. Margaret Begley and Jordie Harr placed several corners in the box, each of which came close to resulting in a reset of the game.
Perhaps the closest chance was with 10 minutes to go when a perfectly-executed short corner between Savanna Jones and Kirsten Davis left Davis charging with the ball in the box. Her shot ricocheted off the near post and bounced right in front of net, but the only players positioned there were Lobos, who cleared it.
With even less time on the clock, a corner bounced right to Amanda Porter on the far post, whose blast towards goal from eight yards out was stopped by the face of a New Mexico defender on the goal line.
“We found ourselves on the road in a dogfight and we pounded and pounded,” Stone said. “We hit the post, the cross bar and a girl’s face. Where New Mexico deserves credit is they didn’t ever fall apart; they stayed together and played hard defense.”
As she did in the opener, Davis led the team in shots on goal (2). Harr was the team leader in overall shots with four. Davis combined with nearly the entire Red Raider front to create several opportunities throughout the game. When there is nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, though, it is up to the team to move on.
“Our team is going to take it as a young team and learn from it and move on to next week,” Stone said. “I think we have to – we don’t really have a choice.”