Trinity Byars provides offense as Texas soccer takes down Texas Tech in Lubbock

Evan Vieth, Sports Reporter

Texas soccer did what the football team couldn’t this weekend — beat Texas Tech in Lubbock.

The No. 25 Longhorns won a convincing 2-0 game against the Red Raiders that featured stellar defense from sophomore defender Emily Jane Cox and two goals from sophomore striker Trinity Byars.

Byars continued her campaign as the Big 12’s best goal scorer just four minutes into the rivalry matchup. Texas Tech began dominating early possession, but a loose ball escaped downfield to Byars. The star striker took on three separate defenders, leading to a one-on-one with the keeper.

Byars rarely misses on that kind of opportunity, and in just the fifth minute of the game, she slotted in her ninth goal of the season to give the Longhorns an early 1-0 lead. Byars’ second goal of the game, which came 10 minutes into the second half, solidified her top spot with her tenth goal of the season.

Since 2018, Texas is 41-4-6 when scoring first. Sunday’s victory continued the impressive streak that head coach Angela Kelly has prioritized for her roster ever since she joined the program. The Longhorns have also won 49 of their last 50 games when scoring two or more goals. 

Byars and the Texas team missed a familiar face in the midfield on Sunday. Sophomore Lexi Missimo, Top Drawer Player of the week less than two weeks ago and the Big 12 assist leader, suffered an ankle injury three days before at TCU.

Byars continued her threat in the first half, providing the majority of the offense for both teams. She generated four shots throughout the half, including a possible second goal in the 28th minute. Byars, known for her fantastic footwork, took a through ball past the Texas Tech defense, but a bad touch led her closer to senior goalie Madison White who made a superb save and limited the Longhorns to just one goal at the half.

Apart from Byars’ 55th-minute goal, the second half was mostly slow-paced and lacked action. But in the 70th minute, the Texas defense received its first major test of the game.

With several Texas Tech attackers in the box, junior forward Gisselle Kozarski had a golden opportunity with graduate student keeper Savannah Madden off her line. Kozarski’s shot was deflected and fell to sophomore forward Ashleigh Williams, whose rocket of a shot bounced off the top goal post and away from the goal.

Five minutes later, Madden had to make a tough save against senior forward Macy Schultz’s opportunity as well. The keeper had a quiet game up until the 70th minute, but her veteran experience was on full display against the two Red Raider attacks. Kelly had very little to be nervous about throughout most of Sunday’s match, but the golden opportunities for Texas Tech had everyone on the Texas side anxious.

Though Missimo’s presence was missed throughout the game, sophomore midfielder Ashlyn Miller filled in impressively. Miller consistently won the ball in midfield, and she was the main creator for Byars’ second goal. Her over-the-top pass sent Byars past the defense, and though the Red Raiders pleaded for an offside, the calm and collected forward made a move and slotted a goal just to the left of White.

Byars has consistently been the heart of Texas’ roster, and Sunday’s game completely revolved around her. She was almost the entire attack for the Longhorns and often had several Red Raiders marking her.

The Longhorns will ride the victory wave back to Austin after a successful road trip in which they took four of a possible six points against TCU and Texas Tech. The Baylor Bears will travel to Austin on Friday, Sept. 30 to take on the 7-1-3 Texas Longhorns.