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Red Raiders Open Season with 5-0 Rout of Oral Roberts
LUBBOCK, Texas (Texas Tech Presss Release) – Faced with having to wait two extra days before opening the 2014 season, No. 17 Texas Tech took little time attacking Oral Roberts Sunday evening as the Red Raiders scored two goals in the first 12 minutes on their way to a 5-0 victory in front of a packed house at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
Playing in front of 1,811 fans, the third-largest crowd in school history, five different Red Raiders found the back of the net as Texas Tech (1-0) cruised to its seventh straight season-opening victory.
It was the sixth shutout in Tech’s last seven season openers as the Red Raiders are out-scoring opponents by an impressive 21-1 margin during that stretch. The 5-0 rout also matched the largest margin of victory for Tech all-time in a season opener.
“Oral Roberts is a good team and quality program so we felt fortunate to be up 3-0 at the half,” Tech head coach Tom Stone said. “I thought the key was we were really clicking on the passing front. We had good rhythm with our passes and that was impressive for a season opener. To be that productive in your opening game, that is a really good sign.”
Meagan McCullough was the first Red Raider to find the back of the net in just the seventh minute as the sophomore recorded her first career goal after lining a shot attempt from 24 yards out up and over the leaping hands of Oral Roberts goalkeeper Maddie Rhodes.
The goal was the only one on the night to not be created by Alli Murphy, who snapped the Tech single-match record with four assists, breaking the previous mark of three set by former Red Raider great Taylor Lytle on Sept. 4, 2009, at TCU.
“Alli just got in the zone and she looked like a point guard, quarterback, holding mid all rolled into one,” Stone said. “She got everyone the ball where they needed it and when they needed it. She really set the table for us and four different people were able to score off it.”
Murphy found Janine Beckie for her first assist in just the 11th minute, sending a long pass down the middle that allowed Beckie to race past her defender and beat Rhodes in a one-on-one opportunity. It was the 27th career goal for Beckie, moving her into a tie for fourth all-time in the Tech career record book.
Murphy, who came into the match with seven career assists, launched a free kick that found the head of Hannah Devine in the 20th minute that gave Tech a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the half.
The Red Raiders withstood their longest scoring drought of the night to start the second half as Tech did not get back on the board again until the 63rd minute when Caity Heap took a Murphy pass just outside the box, dribbled right and launched a hard-rolling liner just inside the left post.
Cassie Conarty, making her collegiate debut, connected on Tech’s final goal as she knocked in a Murphy corner kick in the 76th minute. The goal marked the first time a Red Raider freshman had scored in a season opener since Beckie did so in 2012 against Idaho.
Tech controlled possession for the majority of the night as Oral Roberts (0-2) only attempted two shots, both of which that were collected by Lauren Watson, who her first ever shutout in her first career start in goal.
A total of 12 different Red Raiders made at least one shot attempt as Tech finished with 31 collectively as a team. Stone was able to use most of his bench in the second half as a total of 26 players saw action.
The Red Raiders will make their first road of the season next weekend, traveling to the Notre Dame Invitational where Tech will face the 16th-ranked Irish at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening in the tournament opener. Tech closes the weekend with a 10 a.m. contest against Eastern Washington.