LUBBOCK, Texas – For the third time in four years, the Texas Tech soccer team opened the Big 12 Conference season with a win as it defeated Oklahoma, 3-1, Friday night at John Crain Field at the OU Soccer Complex.
Tech's (8-2/1-0 Big 12) eight wins on the year already ties the total number of wins in each of the last two seasons and is the most victories since the Red Raiders had 13 in 1996. The Red Raiders have only allowed four goals in 10 games this year. Their previous seven wins this season were all shutouts.
"It was a very good overall performance by our team," said head coach Tom Stone. "We got on them early and tried to keep them on their heels. Our possession was great and we scored three nice goals."
Tech's first goal came in the 22nd minute as sophomore Dawn Ward ran onto a ball flicked by freshman Jessica Fuston. Ward hit a great shot to the far side of the goal to take a 1-0 lead. It was Ward's fourth goal of the season and Fuston's first career assist.
Shortly after in the 23rd minute after several connecting passes, sophomore Tiffini Smith swung the ball to freshman Jessica Disabella who was just outside the 18 on the left side. Disabella took one quick touch to prepare it and her second touch was a blast that beat the OU goalkeeper to the near side. The goal marked Disabella's second goal on the year and her second-game winning score.
Tech's final goal, which secured the win, was a great individual effort by Smith, who pounced on a short clearance to a first time volley from the D into the far corner of the net for her first goal of the season.
"Tiffini's goal really put the game away," stated Stone. "Very few players could pull off that shot, but she hit it with total commitment and was rewarded."
Tech's defense was once again stellar as it did not allow a score in the run of play as OU's (4-4-1/0-1 Big 12) lone goal came in the 65th minute on a penalty kick by freshman Emily Reid.
"Other than the penalty kick, our defensive effort was outstanding," Stone said. "Casey McCall's play was phenomenal and really led the charge for our defensive effort."
Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Wikelius got the win in the nets as she played all 90 minutes collecting four saves. Wikelius is now 3-1 on the year.
The Sooners outshot the Red Raiders 14-9, while getting seven corner kicks to Tech's four.
The Red Raiders wrap up their road trip to Oklahoma with a stop in Stillwater, where they take on No. 12 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m., on Sun., Sept. 26, at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.