Albuquerque, N.M. – The 15th- ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders fell to the University of Southern California 1-0 in the first of two matches at the Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Friday night.
“We knew this was our most difficult opener in my time here,” said head coach Tom Stone. “USC lived up to their billing of a Pac-12 title contender. They deserve credit for wrestling the game away from us late and capitalizing in the last ten minutes on a bad turnover on our end.”
The Red Raiders, coming off a 4-1 exhibition win at Denver a week ago, battled USC in the first half of the match limiting the Trojans to only two shots in the first 45 minutes of play.
Freshman Gwennie Puente fired the first of two shots on goal for the Red Raiders in just the seventh minute of play forcing USC’s Sammy Prudhomme to make her first of four saves in the contest. She would be tested again just four minutes later as senior Janine Beckie created space and fired in a shot of her own, but Prudhomme held on to send the game into halftime without a goal scored.
“I was happy with the first half and how we moved the ball and played with good balance,” added Stone. “As the game went on we did not take care of the ball like we hoped to.”
As the second half got underway, the Trojans ramped up the offensive effort firing a total of 10 shots in the final 45 minutes of play and earning seven corner kicks.
The Trojans finally broke through in the 82nd minute as Hailey Hite was able to gather a deflection and fired a shot from the far post that would hold to be the game winner.
The setback tonight represented the first loss for the Red Raiders in seven seasons and is the first loss in a season opener since head coach Tom Stone’s first season at the helm.
“The key moving forward on this opening weekend I how we respond on Sunday,” said Stone. “UNM is a quality team too so we will need to rebound and get after it on Sunday.”
Texas Tech will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. as they face New Mexico in the final match of the Lobo Invitational. Following Sunday’s match the Red Raiders will open the 2015 home slate against Georgia on Friday, August 25 at 7:00 p.m.