Kansas City, Mo. For just the third time this season, the Kansas women’s soccer team was shutout in a 1-0 loss to TCU in the Big 12 quarterfinals Wednesday at Swope Soccer Village.
But what made the early exit for the second-seeded KU squad more difficult was that it squandered any chance of redemption. The team lost to Texas Tech in the Big 12 Championship final last fall and felt primed to have a chance to hoist the title this time around.
“I think our team is good enough to win this thing,” coach Mark Francis said. “We are not going to get the opportunity now. Credit to them. They scored the one chance that they had. I wish them the best of luck. Just disappointed for us.”
The No. 24 Jayhawks (10-5-4) were handed their first loss since a 1-0 home defeat to No. 1-ranked West Virginia on Oct. 7. After averaging 1.5 goals through league play, KU was unable to get anything going on offensively.
“I’m gutted for our players,” Francis said. “Because I thought we did enough to win the game, except score. We had so many opportunities."
Kansas got the best of TCU (11-5-2) in the regular season meeting in Fort Worth, 2-1. And the Jayhawks put themselves in position, outshooting their opponent, 13-8 in Wednesday’s match. But the difference proved to be capitalizing on those shots.
After a scoreless first half and an extended lightening delay, the Horned Frogs got on the board in the 50th minute of action. Junior Allison Ganter netted her seventh goal of the season on a scramble play around the net.
Senior Michelle Prokof lofted a corner kick up in the air, which sophomore Karitas Tomasdottir redirected with a header toward the net. The ball then was deflected and Ganter was there at the front of the net to clean it up, tapping it in for a 1-0 advantage.
“The goal we gave up was bad organization,” Francis said. “We knew that they were good on set pieces, keeping the ball live. We talked about it in scout and showed video of it. We just didn’t get to the ball quick enough.”
Of Ganter’s team-high seven goals, four of them have been game winners.
However, the KU defense did its part to keep the deficit within reach for the rest of the evening. Kansas goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns logged three saves before exiting with 11 minutes to go with an injury after a collision with a player.
“Defensively we played great other than that goal,” Francis said. “Unfortunately, it's the one mistake that led to the difference in the game. I thought our backs played really well. We didn’t give them too many opportunities.”
Kansas will now have to wait until Monday to learn of its postseason fate.