KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No. 15 Texas Tech blanked Baylor in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship Sunday, 1-0. Conference scoring leader Kirsten Davis was responsible for the lone goal of the game, pushing her season total to 16 – just two shy of the single-season program record.
Davis’ score was an early one, coming in just the 22nd minute. This forced Tech to withstand a relentless attack from a Baylor team desperate for a win; with their current RPI, a loss would likely mean the end of the season for the Bears. The Red Raiders were successful in their defense of the one-goal lead – a feat meriting praise from head coach Tom Stone.
“You’ve got to be up for it,” said Stone. “It can be intimidating and overwhelming at times. You can really succumb to the pressure, but I think our girls ate it up. I think they said, ‘Ok, we did this a week ago. We can do it again.’”
This defense was led by Madison White in net as well as her back line, which was stellar. White made three saves on the night, including a diving stop on a close-range strike in the 32nd minute. Without White getting a hand on the ball, the score would have surely breathed life into the anxious Baylor side.
The lefty strike from Davis was one of just 12 total shots taken by the two teams Sunday – much lower than the 29 from the previous meeting on Oct. 24. Nonetheless, as she did twice in that matchup, Davis found the back of the net for her third goal of the year against the Bears.
“We knew exactly what we had to do this game to score,” said Davis. “We’ve been practicing that play where Jayne [Lydiatt] gets the ball and I make the run to the opposite side and she plays me the ball and we score. That’s exactly what we did.”
Sunday night’s win makes it four straight for the Red Raiders, who finished runner-up in the regular season standings after tying a program record for Big 12 wins with six. Davis believes the momentum comes from a mature group that is focused and playing its best at just the right time.
“I think we’re peaking as a whole team,” she said. “We have a lot of young players on this team, but the way it’s showing it looks like they have experience. I think everyone is playing the best that they can and this is the best time of the season to do that.”
The win also counts as the program’s fourth-ever first-round victory at the Big 12 Championships and its first since 2015. Of course, the Red Raiders would go on to win the title that year. It is their first win against Baylor at the conference tournament.
Tech will make a quick trip to Lubbock before returning to Kansas City for next weekend’s semifinal and championship rounds. The Red Raiders will take on six-seed TCU who knocked off three-seed Texas in their quarterfinal match, for a spot in the title game. The semifinal match is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will stream on ESPN+.