TTU women’s soccer drops NCAA Third Round heartbreaker to UNC, 1-0
LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – In front of yet another record-breaking crowd (2558), the second-seeded Texas Tech Women’s Soccer program dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to third-seeded North Carolina, 1-0 Sunday afternoon at the John Walker Soccer Complex in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.
In what was the first home NCAA Tournament Third Round match in Texas Tech (16-2-6) history, the Red Raiders hung tough with the battle tested Tar Heels (13-1-8), holding the potent UNC offense to just 16 total shots.
After a wide open first half that saw the Red Raiders take three corners, UNC used a 71st-minute rocket from Bell Sember to seal a berth into the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 34th time in program history.
In what started as a wide-open physical affair turned extremely defensive in the second half as two of the best backlines in the country highlighted by arguably the two-best center backs in the country stifled the opposing offense, as UNC had the lone two shots over the first 25 minutes of the second half.
Halfway through the 77th minute the Red Raiders had their strongest scoring opportunity of the match, when Kylie Bahr nearly helped contribute to the equalizer when she fed Alex Kerr for a 1V1 opportunity.
With her momentum toward goal, Kerr raced past projected All-American Savvy King and ripped a bending shot that missed the upper-left corner of the net by less than a foot.
The shot by Kerr was Tech’s best offensive chance over the final 15 minutes of play, as the Tar Heels closed out the 1-0 victory.
In her 85th and final game wearing the Scarlett and Black, Tech goalie Madison White made six key saves. White closed her decorated career with a program record 39 shutouts and was inside the top-5 all-time in GAA (0.76, T-2) and saves (264, 4th).
Sunday’s loss was also the final game for captain Hannah Anderson who played in and started her 96th career game this afternoon. Anderson closed her career with 14 goals and four assists in a historic 8642 minutes played.
The duo accumulated 180 career starts, played over 16000 minutes and combined for 39 clean sheets in their five years at Tech.
As previously stated, the Red Raiders close the 2023 season at 16-2-6, after going 14-0-4 in the regular season to capture the programs first Big 12 title.
HC TOM STONE:
“I’d like to start by congratulating North Carolina for a really well played weekend. They are as advertised, a dangerous team. Obviously they are well coached and tough to breakdown. They are moving on, so they certainly deserve our congratulations. We’re super disappointed and I think the main reason is because how well the game-plan unfolded and how well the players played. The chances we created are going to be brutal to look at in the offseason. In a game like this, both teams are going to have some half-chances and some real chances. Although I think they had more than us in that area, the ones we had were legit. We were hoping to still be playing right now by equalizing the game and going on with it. I think that’s why it hurts so much. If a team comes in and just rolls over you then you are tipping your hat and saying goodbye, but the game was tight and the girls played extremely well. I don’t think Maddie was tested except for the one that went into the upper corner. Every shot was right at her, and she caught every shot and cross. Same with Hannah blocking every shot and getting on the end of services. We are really proud of the way the ladies played. There was only eagerness to advance to the Elite Eight in their hearts. There was no foot off the gas, or worry about the opponent or concern with the environment. It was like ‘yep there’s a million Red Raiders here right now and we are playing against a storied team, let’s go.’ That’s all you can ask for as a coach. We got all we could give. Some of the plays didn’t go our way but that’s soccer and sports in general.”
On what he will remember from the 2023 Team:
“It’d be easy to say, the Big 12 championship and the trophy. But the game at BYU was awesome, Hannah’s heroics in Austin were awesome. All those soccer moments won’t be forgotten, but I think just how much fun they were all year long to be around. This one [White] turned out to be really funny. They all were just such a joy to be around. They brought the heat at practice. These two (White and Anderson) especially set a high standard for the team to follow. I’ve said this all year, when you have a good balance between players like these guys and the young ones, then the young ones will follow them. I mean our goalkeepers, I’m sure they don’t walk around saying I admire Maddie White, but they’re in awe of her. It’s the same way with our defenders, and a lot of our players, the way they look at Hannah. It was just a joy every day to coach these guys. They self-regulated things that didn’t have to become coaches’ issues. The leadership was fantastic. Yeah, it doesn’t hurt when you’re winning, but you’ve seen teams winning that don’t get along, aren’t fun to travel with, or you’re like, “oh gosh, another road trip,” these guys weren’t like that. They were they were really fun. We’ve been at Sweet 16 twice now, but easily [this is] the most fun that I’ve ever had here. Not because the [other] teams weren’t fun, but this team was just unique in that way. They were loose and fun and not uptight, but just really a blast to be around. Part of that is Blair [Quinn] and Nick [Hallam] who are just amazing guys, and they regulate me. Well, we all balance each other really well. They’re phenomenal coaches and their work rate is a plus. They put in so much time and effort, so that makes it easy for me to focus on the things that a coach is supposed to focus on. That whole thing just made it a really enjoyable year.”
D HANNAH ANDERSON:
On her career ending:
I think it’s just the way we wanted to go out and I’m honestly just happy to leave our marks. That was our goal the whole season so overall we’re happy with the year, but obviously we are upset right now. Looking back though we did what we dreamt to do.
GK MADISON WHITE:
On her career ending:
“Just like Hannah said obviously we wish we were still playing, but if that’s how we’re going to go out by all means that’s okay by me. We still want to be playing but UNC is a good team. I think today they possibly outplayed us because they had seven shots on goal and that’s a pretty high number. I’m honestly happy that we ended our season with that type of performance and that we broke so many program records as a team this season.”
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