ALBUQUERQUE – The Texas Tech soccer team capped a perfect opening weekend behind a 1-0 win in double overtime against San Francisco on Sunday afternoon at the Lobo Invitational.
The Red Raiders improved to 2-0 this season thanks to a successful penalty kick from junior midfielder Carly Wickenheiser in the 105' for the golden goal. It was her first goal since 2015, when scored twice in her freshman campaign. A foul by the Dons (1-1) after a corner kick gave the Red Raiders the PK to set up the game-winner for Wickenheiesr.
"We were much improved over our performance from Friday," head coach Tom Stone said. "We really moved the ball with great fluidity and got the attack rolling early. We missed several chances when we rushed it or wanted one pass too many, but as the game settled in we took charge and I know we felt like the goal was going to come. Nothing like waiting for overtime, but this team has a great tradition in OT of getting the win and today was no different."
Tech finished the match with 30 shots, including 11 on goal, holding USF to nine & four, respectively. It was the most shots by a Red Raider unit since Nov. 14, 2014, when Tech recorded 33 against Prairie View A&M, and the most on goal since 11 against Loyola Marymount last year.
The last time Tech posted shutouts in back-to-back matches came in 2014 when the Red Raiders shutout three-straight conference opponents in Kansas, TCU and Baylor (Oct. 17-24).
"We thought for sure we had a PK a few minutes earlier with Gwennie on a breakaway but it wasn't to be, but when Ally [Griffin] was brought down running on a loose ball in the box, our chance had come," Stone said. "Carly is one of 3-4 quality PK takers and she put the capper on a great weekend for herself and the team when she hammered it home for the win."
Wickenheiser finished the day with four shots, three on goal. Freshman forward Kirsten Davisled the team with nine shots, including five on net, as 11 different Red Raiders tallied at least one shot in the win.
USF went on the attack early, as Christensen picked up two early saves within the first six minutes of the match. The Red Raiders countered with shots from Davis & Griffin two minutes later, then a Tech corner kick in the 16' started a cavalcade of offensive opportunities.
"Kirsten Davis and Ally were really dangerous all weekend, while Natalie Schmutz and Hannah Fernandez gave us excellent minutes off the bench," Stone said. "It's clear that Ally is giving us some hold up play at a new level, so being able to play off of Ally then get it wide or get KD in behind will make us more dangerous than we were in 2016."
Over the next 10 minutes, Tech recorded five shots from five different Red Raiders, with Wickenheiser's shot from the right wing requiring a save from USF's keeper. From then on, it would be all Texas Tech on the attack, as the Red Raiders tallied seven more shots over the final 15 minutes of the half, but were unable to finish them off, to make it a scoreless opening frame.
Tech totaled 14 shots in the first half, while limiting the Dons' only scoring threats to the first five minutes of the frame.
The Red Raiders went right back on the attack in the second half, as Wickenheiser and freshman forward Ally Griffin rattled off scoring attempts in the first two minutes. Sophomore midfielder Gwennie Puente added two more in the 49' & 57' of the match, but couldn't convert.
The Dons managed to send their third shot of the afternoon wide right from the far left side in the 60'. The Tech defense stood tall against the USF attack, keeping the Dons from managing a shot for 54 minutes of action over the two periods of play.
The second half was similar to the first, as the Red Raiders rattled off 10 shots with four on net, while Tech faced only six and one, respectively. The two overtime periods saw the same offensive output, as the Red Raiders combined for six more shots over the 15 minutes of action and kept USF to just one. Junior goalkeeper Carissa Christensen & freshman Marissa Zucchetto split time in net for the Red Raiders, both picking up their first two saves of the year against the Dons' attack.
"Our back four and both holding mids were exceptional all weekend getting both shutouts," Stone said. "Both keepers were great. It was Zuchetto that had the save of the day in OT when she dove back to tip the ball over the crossbar. Jordie Harr & Gwennie Puente were also outstanding at attacking mid, as well as logging all 110 minutes today."
The Red Raiders go back on the road next weekend, traveling a little further west to California for a pair of matches at Pepperdine (Aug. 25) and San Diego (Aug. 27)