Williams’ brace powers Tech to best start, B12 start ever
Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
WACO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) – Powered by another two goals junior Ashleigh Williams and a clean sheet from goalie Madison White, the Texas Tech Red Raiders downed the Baylor Bears, 2-0 Sunday afternoon in a sticky and sweltering match in Waco.
With the temperature hovering around 100 and the real feels climbing to nearly 110 degrees, it was Texas Tech (9-0-2, 3-0-0 Big 12) that was able to manage the elements to record a commanding 2-0 win at Baylor (5-5-1, 0-3-0 Big 12).
Fresh off a dramatic 2-1 win at No. 14 Texas on Thursday and with the win on Sunday, the Red Raiders have now earned a win or draw in 18 consecutive regular season matches and are also unbeaten in their last 10 Big 12 Conference matches (7-0-3).
With the win, the Red Raiders are also off to best overall 11-game start in program history and are a perfect 3-0-0 in Big 12 Conference play also for the first time in program history.
As she has all season redshirt sophomore Macy Blackburn set the tone early for Tech, as the defender nearly put Tech up 1-0 in the fourth minute when she ripped a shot past Makinzie Short and off the right post.
Just under 20 minutes later, Blackburn and Williams left no doubt, connecting on the first goal of the match when Blackburn finished a gorgeous run with a perfect cross into the six-yard box.
Williams connected on the other end, delivering her second goal of the week and career-best 11th of the season.
The strike gave Tech a 1-0 lead with just under 20 minutes to play in the opening half.
Armed with a lead, the Red Raiders continued to press forward, looking for the decisive two goal lead, but no other dangerous chances materialized.
When the clock reading just 15 seconds until halftime, Baylor posed its biggest threat of the first 45, when Reneta Vargas intercepted an errant pass and streaked toward White and the Red Raider goal.
With time nearly running out (just nine seconds), Vargas ripped a shot that flew above and wide of the Tech goal.
Out of the break, Tech quickly doubled its lead just 10 minutes in, when Giselle Kozarski sent a perfect service in the direction of Williams. As she did in the first half, Williams left no doubt, redirecting the ball for her 12th goal of the season. Entering the day of action, Williams’ 12 strikes would have been tied for second-most in the country and most in the Big 12.
With the two-goal lead firmly in hand, Tech controlled the remainder of the contest, closing out the third shutout in four matches and sixth of the season.
On the season, Tech has now outscored its opponents 31-5 overall and are one of four teams in the country to have not trailed at any point this season.
HEAD COACH TOM STONE:
“We had a really professional approach to some adverse situations. We’re from West Texas and aren’t used to this humidity. It was incredible how hard both the Red Raiders and Baylor Bears played today in these conditions. It was brutal, but both teams brought the heat. One of the advantages for us was our bench. We have incredible depth right now and our ‘gamechangers’ were dialed in regardless of how many minutes they got. They gave us everything they had and it was a big difference in the game today. This is one of the deepest teams we’ve had and we certainly appreciate their mentality and their attitude. P [Peyton Parsons] has returned from injury and has really helped the team and Kate [Libel] is coming back now. Then you have “Bug” [Giametta] coming off the bench and then “Z” [Taylor Zdrojewski] almost scored the other night against UT. And Elise [Anderson] has come off the bench in every game and been our best player at times. So we’re getting great contributions from a lot of different people and with the grind of a college soccer season that’s an important thing to have going for you.”
On Ashleigh Williams:
“Ashleigh has grown all three years. She’s better than she was as a sophomore and as she was as a freshman. You’re seeing the fruits of her hard work and labor. This is a kid that’s really committed to her development and her growth mindset is off the charts. She doesn’t like to not score. She’s driven by those things which all best goal scorers are. When we’ve really needed her, she’s always been there for us. We’re thankful she’s scoring goals but it’s a team thing. The service she’s getting from [Macy] Blackburn and the wide backs has been tremendous so she’s getting a lot of help from the rest of the team to put her in position, but her commitment level to crash the box and get on the end of things has been special. In that particular area, I think she’s one of the best “box-runners” we’ve ever had here.”
The 25th-ranked Red Raiders return to action on Thursday night when they play host to the University of Oklahoma. First kick from the John Walker Soccer Complex is set for 7 p.m.
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