LUBBOCK, Texas – For the third straight year, Texas Tech concluded its non-conference home slate unbeaten. The Red Raiders held off Arkansas State, 1-0, Sunday in its first day game of the fall.
The one-goal win is the first of the year in which Tech did not have a multiple-goal cushion on its opponent. With 30 shots on the day but just one making it to the back of the net, the Red Raiders were forced to hold on to their slim margin for 73 minutes. On a blistering Sunday afternoon in Lubbock, holding onto a lead is not easy. The young squad was forced to dig deep for the extra energy required to close out the match.
"Everyone dreams of Friday night at The Walker, fifteen-hundred fans, nice weather, beautiful skies," Stone said. "Everyone plays their best on those nights, but if you don't win these Sunday games, you're not going to be playing in November. The upperclassmen led the way with how to deal with these hot and hard games, and it was good for our team."
"[That extra effort] is always worth it," said defender Cassie Hiatt, whose group held the Red Wolves to just one shot all game. "We got to the point and said, 'Five more minutes, that's it.' It might be hot, but we've already played for 85 minutes. Five minutes is nothing. The forwards scored a goal, and if they put in their work we need to put in ours."
The score Tech successfully defended for those grueling 73 minutes came thanks to birthday girl Kirsten Davis. The junior broke towards net to pursue a cross from Amanda Porter, but the Arkansas State goalkeeper's hands got to the ball the same time as Davis' head. The two collided and the ball dribbled across the goal line, giving Davis her sixth goal of the season.
"If you stick your head in there where it doesn't belong, good things can happen," Stone said. "In that case, it was really just a race between the keeper's hands and Kirsten's head, and Kirsten wasn't afraid to stick her head in there. Great job by her."
With six tallies through six games, she is off to the fastest scoring start in program history.
Despite tallying a career-high 11 shots, Davis was responsible for just one-third of the team's total Sunday. The Red Raiders rattled off a season-high 30 shots. Just one goal made its way to the back of the net, and three others ricocheted off the cross bar or side posts. Nevertheless, the team's recent bombardment of opponents with goals left them hungry to convert more of those chances going forward.
"No matter how many shots we take, we just need to figure out how to win," Davis said. "We got one, but we need to learn to finish more chances when we out-shoot a team like that and put more than just one away."
A four-game sweep of non-conference home games in hand, the Red Raiders are ready to hit the road again. This weekend will feature face-offs with Loyola Marymount (Sept. 13) and UC Irvine (Sept. 15) at the Cougar Classic at Washington State.