2011 Top Moments: Texas Tech Opens Big 12 Play With Thrilling Win Over Tigers
The Red Raiders opened Big 12 with a thrilling 1-0 shutout victory over Missouri.
Dec. 20, 2011
*** The Texas Tech soccer team has improved on its previous year in each of the last five seasons under head coach Tom Stone. In 2011, several milestones were reached and more records were broken as the Red Raiders continues their climb towards 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," 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."
TexasTech.com 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.
SEPTEMBER 23 - BIG 12 OPENER
In front of a packed John Walker Soccer Complex on the opening weekend of Big 12 play, the Red Raiders turned in one of the most exciting matches of the season.
In a classic Friday night match against Missouri, the Red Raiders took just three minutes to take an early 1-0 lead over the Tigers on a goal by sophomore Jessica Fuston. The early momentum proved to be all Texas Tech needed as the Red Raiders shutout Missouri 1-0 to pick up the pivotal Big 12 victory and move to 1-0 in conference play.
"This was a big win for us," head coach Tom Stonesaid after the match. "It was nice to get this win, and to do it in front of the home fans made it special."
The crowd of 1,426 witnessed goalkeeper Victoria Essonmake five crucial saves on the night to help secure Tech's sixth shutout victory of the season.
The win marked the program's first over Missouri since the 2006 season, and came on a night when both the Lubbock Soccer Association and the Texas Tech soccer alumni were recognized.
"We were thrilled to have so many [alumni] come back and re-connect with us," Stone said "It was a goal of ours to show them how far we have come and how much their contributions mean to us."
Despite scoring just a single goal on the night, Tech never let up on the offensive end. The pressure was led by an unrelenting presence from senior and eventual NSCAA All-Central team selection Taylor Lytle.
"Lytle was fantastic," Stone said. "She made the game for us all night. The early goal helped, but we were committed to attacking as a point of our game plan not to let Missouri get rolling. They did have their moments as well, but outshooting the Tigers and having more corner kicks than them speaks to our ability to withstand pressure and still get into attack mode."
The win helped the Red Raiders improve to 4-1 all-time in Big 12 Conference openers under Stone.