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2011 Top Moments: Season Opening Shutout Victory Over Rice

Texas Tech celebrated its fourth-straight home-opening win with a 1-0 defeat of Rice.

2011 Top Moments: Season Opening Shutout Victory Over Rice

Dec. 13, 2011

The Texas Tech women's soccer team has improved on its previous year in each of the last five seasons. In 2011, several milestones were achieved and more records were broken as women's soccer continues its climb to the top of the Big 12 Conference.

"Despite the disappointment of not being selected to the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, we will look back at 2011 as another stop forward," head coach Tom Stone said. "A true style of play emerged for us this year, we had real depth for the first time and we had some significant wins at home and on the road.  All these experiences set the table nicely for our 2012 campaign." will take a look at the Top Five Soccer Moments from 2011 over the next five days and let the fans decide on their favorite on the final day by going to the official Facebook page of the Texas Tech Athletic Department.


Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone and his squads have made it a habit of winning the opening game over the last three seasons and 2011 was no different.

Although it would come down to the 64th minute of the game, the season-opener against Rice foreshadowed two things for the year - a little bit of a taste for the dramatic at Tech and a following from fans like the school had never seen before.

So when Tiffini Smith knocked in the game-winner off a rebound from Jessica Fuston, more than 1,200 fans erupted it what sounded more like 12,000 in attendance at John Walker Soccer Complex.

"It was a great start for our team," Stone said. "We had a packed house and a quality opponent that we knew would stretch us.  Our freshmen played very well and the atmosphere was electric."

Freshmen would play a key role for Tech throughout the 2011 season but none made a bigger impact immediately than goalkeeper Victoria Esson. The Australian native recorded her first win and shutout of the season that day - two things that would happen more often in 2011 than ever before.

"Tiff's goal was excellent to win it but the story of Victoria Esson wrote its first chapter that night--and it was a beauty," Stone said. "Vic made two huge saves to seal the deal for us that night."

It would not be the last win or shutout of the season and certainly not the most-packed house at John Walker as Tech's march toward its best Big 12 Conference finish began on a positive note for 2011.



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