Picture it: the clock reads 00:00 and the refs blow the whistle. It’s a moment of anxiety and focus as the night passes from regulation into the void beyond. Overtime in collegiate soccer is as troublesome as it gets. There’s more time on the board, sure, but the game ends as soon as someone scores a goal. It’s glory or pain in an instant. If you’re thinking “they hadn’t scored a goal in regulation it shouldn’t be much different in the overtime,” then you’re not thinking at all.
The body is exhausted. The mind is racing through scenario after scenario of planned and unplanned set pieces. The soreness of being tackled, tackling, and pushing relentlessly against opponents becomes unavoidably noticeable. An overtime in soccer tests even the best contenders, so Texas Tech had to double-down against a strong Iowa State defense. Coach Stone turned to his players and said what he’s been saying all season: “the stronger team will win.” With a strike from Sierra Jones the Red Raiders won, and Tom Stone notched 150 wins under his belt as the head coach for the club.
Coach Stone has been at Texas Tech since 2007, and so far sits at record of 150-80-30. In that time he’s coached professional level personnel such as Caity Heap (Mallbackens IF), Jaelene Hinkle (North Carolina Courage), Taylor Lytle (Utah Royals FC), Victoria Esson (New Zealand National Team), and the most notable Janine Beckie (Manchester City, Canadian National Team). This is a team that has gone to the NCAA Tournament in six of its last seven seasons, and is looking to repeat that with more talent on the roster.
This year’s squad is filled with athleticism and finesse from countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and all across the United States. An indisputable star of this team is Junior Kirsten Davis, a member of the Youth United States National Team, who ranks highly in a number of statistical categories. Davis is currently third in the nation for goals scored with 11, nineteenth in the nation for assists with 6, and third in the nation for game-winning goals with 4. All of which help Texas Tech sit at thirteenth in the nation for goals per game, and twelfth for total goals on the season.
Defensively this is one of Stone’s stronger units with the team limiting opponents to .687 goals per game. A star of the defense is none other than New Zealand goal keeper Marissa Zucchetto. Currently she has four shutouts on the season and only five goals against, but in her injure absence Madison White - a freshman from Texas - has two shutouts and one goal against. White has turned a number of heads in her time under the post, earning back-to-back-to-back awards in the Big 12. The defenders for Texas Tech have kept a lot of pressure off goal keepers by routing attackers away. Players like Amanda Porter, Cassie Hiatt, Hannah Anderson, and Gabbie Puente are a large piece of Texas Tech’s current 10 win mark.
We took a poll at the end of last month, gauging where fans were on this soccer team:
I’m a pretty big soccer fan, so I’m curious: do you keep up with Texas Tech women’s soccer?— Viva the Voodoo (@vivathematadors) September 27, 2019
Out of 675 - which is way below our average on polls - only 44% of you said that you keep up with Texas Tech soccer. I guess that’s not even to say that you watch it, or you care, but maybe simply that you see it on Twitter. I completely understand that under the current TV licensing it’s, at times, inconvenient to watch the games. For those I give you all a definite pass because I miss those, too. We’re about to be in the thick of it though. There are six games left in conference play (two broadcasted on Fox), then the Big 12 Tournament, followed by the NCAA Tournament. Our Red Raiders are ranked No. 14 in the nation for a reason - and if you weren’t paying attention earlier now is the time to hop on board.
Next up for Texas Tech is at West Virginia tomorrow night at 6pm. Wreck em, Tech!