LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 24 Texas Tech is set to make their second trip to California this season for a two-game split in Los Angeles. The Red Raiders will begin the week a day early on Thursday, playing California State, Northridge, before taking on Loyola Marymount on Sunday.
The west coast trip comes after a dominant home stand during which Tech outscored the opposition by a combined 10-1. The goals were falling left and right, and head coach Tom Stone sees this weekend as an opportunity to continue to build the offense.
"They were the same chances we had in other games, but I think we just had the composure and the tenacity to put them away," said Stone. "Like a point guard in basketball, sometimes it just looks like there is a lid on the basket, but once you start scoring they all start going in. Then multiple people start scoring. That's kind of the way it worked out."
Among the scorers was sophomore Ally Griffin, who after entering the weekend without a point to her name this fall left with five in just two games. She began her weekend by assisting Jade King for the opening score against Florida International on Friday, then followed it up with two scores of her own on Sunday. Griffin's first score came in the 55th minute when she accepted a cross from Gabbie Puente. She drove through an FIU defender and stumbled, but put the ball away in the bottom-right corner of the net. In the 67th minute, she was fouled in the box and converted the penalty kick for her second goal of the match.
"I knew they needed me to shut this game out, so I just played as hard as I could," Griffin said following Sunday's game. "That's what they needed from me."
Griffin, who led the team in points, goals, shots and shots on goal last season as a freshman, reflected on how it felt to tally her first score of the season:
"If you play hard, I think – in my mind – the reward will come." She finished, laughing, "But it did feel really nice to see it go in."
Griffin was one of eight scorers responsible for Tech's 10 goals throughout the weekend. The other multi-goal scorer was an unlikely one: freshman defender Cassie Hiatt. Hiatt, who plays all the way on the back line, scored in both games. Her first score – the first of her collegiate career – came Friday when she positioned herself perfectly to tap in a corner from Savanna Jones. Her second came on a spectacular shot from down in the right corner. Admittedly trying to cross the ball, Hiatt's strike sailed over the Beavers keeper and landed in the back of the net.
The explosion of offense was more than welcome, as the team entered the weekend ranking seventh in the Big 12 in scoring offense with 1.20 goals per game. Now averaging 2.29 per game, they rank third.
"We play great defense, and that's what we built this program on ten years ago," said Stone. "That's what has kept us in games, but now that we're starting to find the back of the net, we find some more balance in our results."
Leading the way to that balance are Jade King and Kirsten Davis. The left-side duo each average over one point per game, and together they sit atop the Big 12 in shots on goal per match with 1.86. King tallied her fourth goal of the season Friday, while Davis recorded her first career two-assist game on Sunday.
The Red Raiders will face off with the Matadors of CSUN on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT/9 p.m. CT. Sunday's first touch with Loyola Marymount is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET.