The MU women's soccer team was missing their lead scorer on Friday night, but the rest of the Tiger offense more than made up for her absence, defeating Texas Tech 4-1 at Audrey J. Walton Soccer Complex to bring MU's record to 7-9-1, 4-5 in the Big 12. Texas Tech is now 3-14-0 and 0-9 in the Big 12.
Seniors Melissa Peabody, Kristen Heil and Shea Swoboda and sophomore Aria Hudetz scored one goal each in the victory. Junior Jennifer Nobis, who leads the team in scoring with 7 goals, was forced to sit out Friday's game after receiving her fifth yellow card during last Sunday's 6-0 loss to Texas due to NCAA rules.
The Tigers started the game off with a bang, with Heil scoring MU's first goal three minutes into the game. It was Heil's first goal of the season. Peabody crossed the ball to Hudetz, who then passed it to Heil. This first goal was an example of what was to come as the MU offense worked well together to overcome the obstacle they have faced all season - the inability to finish scoring opportunities.
"I think it's good when more people have more opportunities, because then you don't have to mark just one player," Heil said. "We're more dangerous. I think we were passing the ball around awesome and getting some good combinations. I think that helped us score our highest scoring game."
MU continued its attack throughout the first half, with the ball remaining solidly in Texas Tech's end of the field. The second goal came 12 minutes later when Peabody shot from about 20 yards out after receiving the assist from Hudetz to score her second goal of the season.
The third Tiger goal came at the start of the second half when Hudetz headed in a pass delivered by junior Amber Swinehart for Hudetz's second goal of the season. Hudetz credits her teammates with her success.
"It was more of a team effort," Hudetz said. "With the goal that I had, it was more the ball that was played. It (the pass from Swinehart) was just perfect."
The Texas Tech offense managed to break through the Tiger defense late in the second half. Texas Tech freshman Ashley Reed shot from 25 yards out and sailed the ball past MU's freshman goalkeeper Laura Buehrig to bring the score to 3-1.
That would be the only goal for the Raiders, as MU continued their dominance for the rest of the game, scoring again in the final two minutes when Swoboda received a pass from Heil to score her second of the season. The MU offense outshot Texas Tech 31-6 in an impressive offensive performance.
The team will travel to Baylor on Sunday at 1 p.m. in what Coach Bryan Blitz calls a "must win" game. The outcome will determine whether or not the Tigers are headed to the Big 12 tournament. Peabody said that the team is ready for the challenge.
"We're still really laid back," Peabody said. "Everyone's still so tight, so together, and we're all on the same page. That's the important thing, even though we have struggled this season. We're all on the same page, we're all focused and when it comes down to it and we have to win, we do it."