DENVER – For the seventh consecutive year, Texas Tech took down Denver in its lone preseason contest.
"Once again it was a great way to start the season up here in Denver," said head coach Tom Stone. "This is probably the best Denver team I've seen in five years and they threw the kitchen sink at us and we responded well."
Jade King opened scoring just 20 minutes in, continuing her trend of sniffing out early goals in her upperclassman career. This time, she took a Tech-won ball in the midfield and charged toward the Pioneer net. She was followed closely by a Denver defender, but the back line failed to step in and she hit the edge of the 18-yard box with nothing but open field in front of her. She took a step and buried a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net to make it 1-0 Red Raiders.
"The theme of the evening was how we responded to the pressure on their end," Stone said. "We absorbed it, broke it and scored a sweet goal in transition to go up 1-0."
Leading up the opening score, Denver's aggressive attack had the Red Raider defense working. They earned three corners through the first 15 minutes, but Tech held strong in the box and won all three. For the remaining half hour, the Red Raiders held the Pioneers to no corners and just two shots.
Despite Tech opening the second half with three shots to Denver's zero, it was the Pioneers who found the net seven minutes in. A cross found the open head of a Denver player and snuck past keeper Marissa Zucchetto to tie it up.
The Denver bench came alive, but it was short-lived thanks to Kirsten Davis. The junior burst down the right side, outrunning three Denver defenders before beating the keeper at close range to make it 2-1.
"We had to weather the fact that they equalized," Stone said. "With a young team, how you respond to that is so important."
In total Tech put off 11 shots in the second half alone, bringing their game total to 17 while holding Denver to seven With a dominant attack running the top, Zucchetto's goal allowed was the only shot she had to face all game thanks to a stingy Red Raider back line.
Tech will turn around quickly for its season opener, for which they will leave Lubbock on Wednesday. The Red Raiders will head west for a match with San Diego State Thursday before going to Albuquerque for a contest at New Mexico on Sunday.