Our soccer team has completed their regular season and feels ready for this week's Big 12 Championship. We finished the season a somewhat disappointing 4th place in conference, but we can still make some noise in the Big 12 tourney to boost our seeding in the NCAA tournament. We will play 5th place Texas in the first round on Wednesday at 2:00PM, and the winner will advance to likely play conference-champion WVU in the semi-final round.
This has been an up-and-down season for our very talented Lady Raider team, but we finished a respectable 14-3-1. After going undefeated in the pre-season with wins against three top-25 opponents (Denver, Notre Dame, and Cal), we had high hopes for this team. They entered conference play ranked #7 in the nation. Then we struggled a bit and didn't have much go our way at the beginning of conference play, dropping overtime losses to UT and OU in the first two games and had a 1-1 draw against OSU in the third. Our team then traveled to West Virginia to play the eventual conference champion and lost there 4-2.
Our luck seemed to turn as we bounced back from the WVU loss with a win over a very good #11 Kansas team. That was the beginning of our 4-game winning streak. We went on to beat TCU and Baylor and closed out conference play with a dominating 6-1 win over Iowa State, which should give us great confidence and momentum heading into the tournament. We are currently ranked #18 in the NSCAA poll and have an opportunity to move up based on our play this week.
When and Where to Watch Big 12 Championship
Here's the bracket for the Big 12 Soccer Championship. If you're in the Kansas City area, you can watch games in-person on November 5th, 7th, and 9th. The rest of us can catch them streaming on the Big 12 Digital Network, starting with our game today at 2:00PM.
Thoughts on the UT Matchup
I was at the game in Austin against UT in late September, and we played a bit streaky, and the Longhorns scored their lone goal in overtime. We looked like the better team for much of the match, but then we seemed to lose focus in places, finally giving up an ugly goal because we had two defenders and our keeper all looking out of position on a fast break. It was a frustrating loss, and I am hopeful we can avenge it on Wednesday. The good news is that this team has performed well in the back half of the season because of greater focus and determination, and I believe we will take that into tournament play.
Shout-Out to the Seniors
I would love to see us send off these seniors with a successful post-season, as they have done so much to build the foundation for this program. Pictured here are: Jaelene Hinkle, Erin Inman, Bridgett Jenkins, Taylor Narvaiz, Alex Romanelli and Paige Strahan.