LUBBOCK, Texas – After storms pushed Texas Tech soccer’s match from Sunday night to Monday morning at the John Walker Soccer Complex, the Red Raiders pounced on Cal State-Northridge, 3-0, to wrap up non-conference action.
Tech (7-2-0) picked up goals from three different Red Raiders in the victory over the Matadors (3-2-4). Freshman forward Ally Griffin (3’), sophomore midfielder Savanna Jones (42’) and sophomore forward Jade King (52’) all recorded tallies in Monday’s contest.
The win also marked the sixth-straight year head coach Tom Stone’s squad has posted at least seven wins in non-conference play.
“I thought we were pretty fortunate to be up two at the half,” Stone said. “The goals were great. It was an unbelievable sequence that led to Ally’s 1-v-1 move and a great near-post shot. Then, Savanna Jones had a great follow-volley that squeezed in the near post. The goals were awesome, but we weren’t playing great.
“I guess that’s a sign of a good team, or a sign of a team that had some good luck today. We didn’t really hit on all cylinders until the second half. From a team-performance standpoint, I really like our second half better, despite getting that early two-goal lead.”
The Red Raiders came out of the gate hot, scoring in the first three minutes of the match. Freshman midfielder Kamy Birk sent a pass up the right side of the field to Griffin, who carried the ball into the box, made a move to put separation between her and a defender, then beat the keeper one-one-one with a strike for the early 1-0 lead. Griffin’s marker was her fourth of the season and was part of a four-shot, all on goal, day for the Southlake native.
It was the fastest a Red Raider has scored to start a game since Ashley Casey on Sept. 4, 2015, against UTSA, when she scored in the 3rd minute of the contest.
With time winding down in the opening frame, Tech nearly struck again in the 42nd minute as junior midfielder Carly Wickenheiser’s shot from the top-left corner of the box dinged off the crossbar. However, a lackluster clearing attempt on the rebound set up Jones for the volley into the back of the net. It was Jones’ second goal of the year, her first coming in Tech’s 4-0 win over Appalachian State on Sept. 3.
With two goal lead after the break, Tech increased its offensive intensity, recording 12 shots, compared to five in the first 45 minutes, while earning five corner kicks for a total of six on the day. The Red Raiders extended their lead after King, making her second appearance this season, laced a shot from the top of the box to the left end of the goal for the 3-0 advantage.
Last season, King recorded a team-high six goals, with her first of the year also coming in her second game of the season against Missouri State on Aug. 21.
Junior Carissa Christensen and freshman Marissa Zucchetto combined for three saves on Monday morning, as Zucchetto topped off with two in the second half. The duo faced a total of 14 shots from the Matadors, including eight after halftime.
“This is a weekend that we needed to finish strong,” Stone said. “We had an unbelievable letter from one of our alums and one of my favorite players ever, Conner Williams, who just wrote to the girls about how meaningful it is to represent this school, how you don’t get these years & moments back and to soak it all in.
“I felt like through the non-conference season, our girls really lived that. They were super disappointed because they were all jacked up and ready to go last night and we had to go to bed & come out for a morning game, but nevertheless we took care of business. We got seven wins out of our non-conference, got a lot of experience, learned a lot about ourselves and if we can apply all of that next weekend, we could have a good Big 12 start as well.”
Texas Tech opens conference play with a pair of home matches on Friday, Sept. 22, against Kansas State at 7 p.m., followed by Kansas on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m.