Texas Tech Soccer

Brooke Denesik takes possession of the ball and starts running towards the goal at John Walker Soccer Complex on Sunday, September 9 2018.

The Texas Tech soccer team posted one of its most successful campaigns in program history during the 2017-2018 season.

The Red Raiders finished with a regular season record of 14-4-1 while going 5-3-1 in Big 12 play, marking the team’s best conference finish since the 2014, according to Tech Athletics.

The regular season concluded with a loss to Baylor in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Championship. Following the conference championship, Tech earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time out of the last seven years.

The Red Raiders were paired up against No. 21 Princeton in the opening round of the postseason bracket, marking the first time in history the Tigers had ever visited Lubbock, according to Tech Athletics. Sophomore forward Kirsten Davis took charge and put Tech up front, earning player of the game after totaling four points on two critical assists and a goal coming early in the second half.

The Red Raiders shutout the Tigers, 3-0, giving Tech a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for just the fifth time in program history, according to Tech Athletics. Shortly after, the Red Raiders determined they were chosen to face off against No. 12 University of Virginia in the second round of the postseason at a neutral site in Waco.

The Virginia Cavaliers finished with a regular season record of 16-4, posting a record of 0-1 at neutral sites, according to Tech Athletics. Leading up to the game, the “Cavs” had advanced past the round of 32 portion of the NCAA Tournament every single year dating back to 2004, when they fell to Duke in the second round. Virginia has claimed three National Championship titles, in 1991 and recently in 2013 and 2014.

The Red Raiders played a hard-fought game, outlasting the Cavalier offensive push the entire match, according to Tech Athletics. The contest finished with a 0-0 score after regulation, forcing a golden goal overtime, in which the first team to score wins. Both teams were scoreless after two periods of overtime play, sending the match into a game-deciding penalty kick competition.

Despite successful penalty kicks from sophomore goalkeeper Marissa Zucchetto and senior midfielder Carly Wickenheiser, Virginia prevailed, making their shots 4-2 in penalty picks, according to Tech Athletics. The Cavaliers will now move on to face No. 2 seed Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore goalkeeper Marissa Zucchetto finished the regular season in a three-way-tie for first in the nation in shutouts with 13 on the year, according to Tech Athletics. Zucchetto also ranked top-15 in the nation in average goals against, posting an impressive .558 after allowing only 12 goals in 21 games played.

Sophomore forward Kirsten Davis finished in a tie for fifth place in the Big 12 in total points, garnering 20 from her six assists and seven goals scored throughout the year, according to Tech Athletics. Davis’ seventh goals puts her in a tie for seventh in the conference in the goals scored category.

Junior forward Jade King’s team best, eight goals scored, placed the striker at No. 6 overall in the Big 12 for the category, according to Tech Athletics. King also ranked eighth in the conference in goals per game, claiming an average of .36.

Sophomore forward Ally Griffin ranked third on the team in both assists and goals scored, totaling two assists to go along with her four goals, according to Tech Athletics. Two of Griffin’s three nets on the year turned out to be game-winners.

Freshman defenders Charlotte Teeter and Cassie Hiatt each tied for fourth on the team in goals, netting three on the season, according to Tech Athletics. Hiatt was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team toward the end of the season after her contributions to one of the nation’s top defenses.

Junior midfielder Jayne Lydiatt, the University of Oregon transfer, finished the season with a total of three assists and tacked on her lone goal at the beginning of the season, according to Tech Athletics.

The Red Raiders close out the season with plenty of accolades, but will need to replace the strong senior class who brought an influence to the team both on and off the field.  

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