Auburn’s late goal spurns Texas Tech’s rally

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, but Auburn's Rebecca Howell netted the game-winning goal in the 78th minute to push the Tigers past the Red Raiders, 3-2, Sunday in the finale of the Auburn Soccer Classic.

The loss prevents the Red Raiders from completing its first weekend sweep since the 2007 season as Tech is now 4-3 overall, while the Tigers improve to 3-1-2.

Tech could not get off to its usual fast start with the Tigers an early 1-0 advantage in the 14th minute off a Katy Fierson goal to the opposite post that came as a result of a one-on-one breakaway. Mary Coffed added to the Auburn lead 10 minutes later, connecting on a 25-yarder following a Tech turnover.

Maggie Fete pulled the Red Raiders to a 2-1 deficit just before halftime with her first goal of the season. The sophomore dropped the ball just under the crossbar after gaining the ball off a Tech corner kick at the top of the 18-yardline.

Conner Williams connected on the equalizer in the 62nd minute as she took the rebound from a Taylor Lytle shot off the post to find the back of the net and give Tech a chance for its first come-from-behind victory of the year. The assist was Lytle's eighth of the season, moving the sophomore one shy of the Tech single-season record after only seven matches.

Tech's rally was squashed 15 minutes later, however, as Coffed delivered a long cross to a wide-open Howell, who connected from 18-yards out, forcing the Red Raiders to find another late goal to force its third overtime in their last four matches.

The Red Raiders had no comeback left, though, with Tech's only shot by Lytle being collected by goalkeeper Amy Howard that preserved the win for the Tigers.

Tech dominated the match statistically, maintaining a 23-16 shot advantage, while also attempting nine corner kicks to Auburn's four. The second-half was dominated by penalties as four yellow cards were issued during the period.

After three-consecutive weekends on the road, the Red Raiders return to the John Walker Soccer Complex next week to begin a six-match home stand, beginning Friday with a 7:30 p.m. match against Alabama as part of the Red Raider Classic.