TAMPA, Fla. – Texas Tech downed No. 22 South Florida, 2-1, in a wild road game Saturday night to round out non-conference play. The Red Raiders are unbeaten against ranked teams in the last two regular seasons, and the Bulls are the second Tech has taken down on the road.
“We’ve had this game circled on the schedule for about eight months now,” said head coach Tom Stone. “We knew this would be our toughest [non-conference] game. This is the best team they’ve ever had and they came in with a No. 22 national ranking, so it was just too tasty for us to not eat that up.”
Tech’s big road win began as most wins have this season: with a Kirsten Davis goal. The forward slid past two Bulls defenders and intercepted a risky pass, then rushed goal. She forced the keeper out and got past her as she attempted to dive at Davis’ legs, then finished it for the opening score. Davis, who entered the night one goal off the national lead, has now tied it with her 10th in nine games.
Charlotte Teeter doubled the Tech lead with a low blast into the corner in the 28th minute to provide some insurance. The score came off the hustle from Davis and Demi Koulizakis. Davis started it with a rush down the right side. When she drew the Bulls defenders in, she crossed it into the box to Koulizakis, who, after being pushed to the ground, pushed the ball free to Teeter. Teeter let one rip from 20 yards out and it found the lower left corner for her second goal of the year.
The Bulls got one back before halftime with a 40-yard blast to make it 2-1. The goal came with the drama already heightened after Tech keeper Marissa Zucchetto left the game with an injury. Zucchetto was cleated in the head by a Bulls attacker when both were sliding to collect a loose ball. Freshman Madison White stepped into goal for her collegiate debut and was outstanding, making seven saves, including several highlight-reel worthy.
In the end, the Red Raiders survived 11 shots from the home team in the second half alone. White stopped all six that came her way, and her defense backed her up with several more blocked shots and service denials.
“This is one of our biggest road wins in program history,” Stone, who is now just two wins from 150 in his tenure at Tech, said to his squad after the game.
Non-conference play wrapped up with a bang, Tech will begin its Big 12 slate next weekend by hosting both Oklahoma programs. The Cowgirls of OSU will come to Lubbock on Thursday at 7 p.m., and the Sooners of OU will play Sunday at 1 p.m.