LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech jumped out to an early first half lead and never looked back as the Red Raiders cruised to a 3-0 shutout victory over Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Soccer Championship at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
With the victory, a crowd of more than 1,100 watched as Tech advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
“To have this environment with the stakes so high was just special,” Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone said. “Our fans certainly gave us an advantage tonight.”
The Red Raiders (18-2-2) outshot Minnesota (11-8-2) 15-8 on the evening while posting their 17th shutout on the year and breaking a school record with their 10th home victory of the season.
Texas Tech now advances to play former Big 12 rival Texas A&M Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tech senior Jessica Fuston put the Red Raiders on top early giving Tech an 1-0 lead with a goal in just the ninth minute of the match. Fuston took a feed from teammate Janine Beckie inside the box before maneuvering around a Minnesota defender for a quick clean look at the net and sending a shot past Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Tarah Hobbs.
The score marked her fourth goal of the season and the 27th of her decorated career.
Sophomore Janine Beckie then gave the Red Raiders a 2-0 advantage 32 minutes into the opening half with a long blast for her 10th goal of the season.
Beckie handled a deflected shot near the top of the penalty area before launching the strike from the left corner of the box and erupting the John Walker Soccer Complex crowd. It marked her second goal in the last two home matches as she netted Tech’s game-winner over Texas in the home finale on Nov. 1.
Though Minnesota quickly countered when Taylor Stainbrook took a shot in the midst of a scramble in front of the Texas Tech goal. The sophomore’s shot sailed past Red Raider goalkeeper Victoria Esson, but was blocked by Jade Dapaah in front of the Red Raider goal.
Tech entered the halftime break with a 2-0 lead, and has now outscored opponents 26-1 in the opening half of play this season.
Beckie then added her second goal of the evening in the 80th minute to give the Red Raiders the three goal advantage.
The 2012 All-American forward took a long feed across midfield from Jaelene Hinkle, misdirected a Gopher defender on a quick stop and punched her second score into the top right corner of the Minnesota net. The decorated sophomore has now registered five career multi-goal performances and two this season.
“Beckie is at her best when the stakes are highest,” Stone said. “She was literally magnificent tonight, as was Jaelene Hinkle. Hinkle might have been the best player on the field. Janine was certainly the best forward tonight.”
Tech’s backline held strong all night as Esson had to make just one save in front of the net to secure her 15th shutout of the season.
With the three goal advantage the Red Raiders were able to cruise to their ninth shutout in 11 home matches.