Ward's Two Strikes Sends Tech To NCAA Second Round
Texas Tech advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 shutout of North Texas Saturday.
November 10, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - A standing-room only crowd at the John Walker Soccer Complex witnessed history Saturday night as Texas Tech shutout North Texas 2-0 in its first NCAA postseason match in school history.
Senior Dawn Ward propelled the Red Raiders into the second round of the Women's College Cup scoring two second half goals in her final match at the John Walker Soccer Complex. Ward and the Red Raiders (16-5-1) now face No. 1 seed Florida State next weekend in Tallahassee with a date and time to be determined.
"I felt like we established our possession game early and that was what really set the tone," sixth-year head coach Tom Stone said. "We knew we were up against a challenge and I was excited for our girls to come to play."
With the victory in front of a season-high crowd of 1,738, Texas Tech improved to 9-1 at the John Walker Soccer Complex and continued the most successful season in school history.
The multi-goal performance marked the fourth of Ward's career and the first since striking twice against Toledo last year.
After a scoreless first half that saw Texas Tech outshoot the Mean Green 9-6, Ward connected on her first goal of the evening in the 51st minute of action. The Midland, Texas native took a pass from freshman Janine Beckie inside the box and sent a header past North Texas goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine for the opening goal of the match.
"It was just a great goal," Stone said. "It got the crowd into it and took the pressure off of us a little it. I thought we really settled down after that first goal."
The score was the first given up by Kerestine in three games heading into Saturday's match.
Ward then struck again in the 59th minute to give the Red Raiders a 2-0 advantage off a long pass from freshman Hannah Devine across the penalty box. The assist was Devine's fourth of the season while Beckie earned her fifth of the year.
With the two scores Saturday night, Ward now had 24 goals on her career to move into a tie with current teammate Jessica Fuston for fourth all-time at Texas Tech. Meanwhile, she earned her sixth game-winner to gain sole possession of fifth all-time.
The Red Raiders finished the home slate outscoring opponents 15-2 in the second half at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
Junior goalkeeper Victoria Esson continued her stellar play late in the season with four saves on the night to earn a school record 14th career shutout. Saturday's performance marked her seventh shutout this season.
Tech has now won four of its last five matches with its only loss coming to Baylor in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championships.