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Two Second-Half Goals Enough For Red Raiders
October 31, 2012
SAN ANTONIO - Janine Beckie's productive rookie season continued Wednesday with a second-half goal that propelled Texas Tech to a 2-0 victory over Kansas in an opening round match at the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship at Blossom Soccer Stadium.

Beckie, a freshman from Highlands Ranch, Colo., was Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and led the conference in shots taken this season, the only player averaging more than five per match. She was tied for third in the conference in goals scored, and her 12th goal of the season in the match's 57th minute allowed third-seeded Tech to win in the conference tournament for the first time.

"This is so exciting for us," Beckie said. "What a great win, but we've got to move on to Friday. We don't want to be done. I think we can make huge strides in this tournament."

Dawn Ward added a rebound goal in the 81st minute that will send the Red Raiders (15-4-1) to the semifinals to play the winner of the No. 2 seed Baylor-No. 7 seed Oklahoma State to be played later Wednesday.

No. 6 Kansas (10-8-2) landed more shots on goal (6-3) but Tech's junior goalkeeper from New Zealand, Victoria Esson, turned them all away.

"I've got great girls in front of me who put their hearts into every single game," Esson said. "Today they were there for all the rebounds. It was a bit nerve-racking, but right down to the end we dealt with it."

Beckie's goal came when teammate Paige Strahan was trying to get a shot off in front of goal. She couldn't, but she had enough attention of the Kansas defenders that her pass forward went loose to the right of the goal box where Beckie was wide open. Beckie calmly kept her shot low and solid, right past Kat Liebetrau for the first goal.

"Paige had an open shot," Beckie said, "but she's such an unselfish player. I just caught myself so wide open, and I got the ball and I knew I had to get it in. I knew it would be hard for (Liebetrau) to get down, so I tried to hit it lower."

When Ward added the second goal, which followed a shot by Ashley Casey that got past Liebetrau but was blocked by a Kansas defender, Kansas had two more solid chances to comeback. Ashley Williams took a shot with 14 minutes to go, but it was right where Esson was kneeling at the inside post.

Inside 10 minutes to go Jayhawks midfielder Sarah Robbins got one above Esson, but it hit the crossbar.

"In the first half we for sure had the better part of the game," Kansas coach Mark Francis said. "We probably should have had a couple of goals with the chances that we had. To be honest I think they're deeper than we are right now, and as the game wore on they were able to make more changes and that wore us down a little bit."

Kansas had three shots on goal in the scoreless first half, Texas Tech none, but the best scoring chances were shots that were not defended by either goalkeeper.

In the 11th minute, Strahan was able to advance the ball from right of the box that bounded behind Ward. Ward spun to retrieve it from inside 20 yards and got a foot on it, sending the ball back toward the goal. It hit the crossbar.

Eight minutes later, Jayhawks forward Caroline Kastor came open right in front of the goal and received a pass she headed from 10 yards. It sailed high.

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