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Late rally not enough for Red Raiders to overcome Michigan in the NCAA Tournament

Fighting until the end, no. 4 seeded Texas Tech falls to Michigan 3-2

Texas Tech Media via @TexasTechSoccer

Texas Tech fell to Michigan last night in Chapel Hill, NC by a final score of 3-2. Both teams got after it early and often, with the first goal going to the Wolverines in the eighth minute. That was the earliest Tech conceded a goal all season, but the Red Raiders rallied back and equalized from a finishing header by Jayne Lydiatt with Kirsten Davis on the assist. After the twenty-second minute goal things stagnated until the second half, but Michigan continued to increase the amount of pressure on Tech as the half came around.

In the second half both teams played tug-o-war with possession in each other’s final third, but Michigan capitalized when it mattered most. Kirsten Davis found an excellent opportunity in a 1-on-1 against their goalkeeper after burning a defender, but quick hands by the goalkeeper kept Tech off the board. The Wolverine’s counter-attack lifted the Maize and Blue up 2-1. The game wasn’t out of reach, but it wasn’t going to be an easy comeback either. The Red Raiders became frustrated, chippy, and inefficient with their possessions. All of this culminated to a third goal from Michigan in the 84th minute to all but seal it.

With a minute left to play Savanna Jones put a loose ball in the box to the back of the net, but there wasn’t enough time on the clock for Tech to mount a comeback. The whistle blew and expired the season for the Red Raiders. Coach Stone commented that both emotion and determination were on Texas Tech’s side at the end, saying “I think if we would’ve tied it our emotions probably would have carried us through, but it wasn’t to be our night.” It’s hard to find encouragement in that because Texas Tech had a number of opportunities to capitalize on possession and possibly be up 3-1 over Michigan out of the half. Regardless, it’s been a big season for the Red Raiders.

The seniors led this squad all year long through vocal leadership as well as by example. Margaret Begley, Gabbie Puente, Jayne Lydiatt, Savanna Jones and Demi Koulizakis all proved to be invaluable to this team’s success. “These seniors were incredible, and these seniors were the best leaders we’ve had in many years. We’re so grateful this team had the year they had. They deserved a bit more, but I can’t fault their effort or their desire to be great,” remarked Stone after digesting the end of another great year. Texas Tech will take some time off in celebration after a hard-fought year, but will be working hard in the offseason to be prepared for 2020.

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