Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas - Paige Strahan knocked in her seventh career game-winning goal in the 93rd minute Sunday morning as 16th-ranked Texas Tech remained undefeated with a 2-1 overtime victory over Eastern Michigan at Alumni Stadium.
The victory, a come-from-behind effort that featured goals from both Strahan and Briana Rohmer, closed Tech's trip to the Notre Dame Invitational where the Red Raiders also defeated the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish, 2-1, Friday evening.
“Overall it was a terrific weekend for us with these two results,” Tech head coach Tom Stone said. “This second match against Eastern Michigan was extremely hard to come by as it was not our best performance. Full credit goes to Eastern Michigan. They definitely out-worked us in the first half. Once we equalized, I knew we had it in us to get the win but we had to dodge a few bullets along the way.”
Tech, playing in its first overtime match of the season, immediately controlled possession in the extra period, forcing Eastern Michigan (2-2) to defend its final third from a pair of quick shot attempts from both Strahan and Janine Beckie.
Strahan was able to capitalize on her second shot attempt of the overtime period as she struck a Meagan McCullough cross to the near post with her right foot, sending it past Eastern Michigan goalkeeper Megan McCabe.
McCullough set up the goal, beating her opponent down the right side to the inline where she cut inside and found Strahan streaking towards the near post. The strike moved Strahan into sole possession of sixth place all-time in the Tech career record book for game-winning goals.
“These Sunday games are so tight and they are won and lost by the thinnest of margins,” Stone said. “Thankfully Paige came through for us in the clutch today. Several players gave gutsy performances today and they literally propelled us to victory in a classic Sunday college soccer game.”
The Red Raiders entered halftime trailing for the second-straight match after an Angela Vultaggio goal in just the fifth minute. It was the third early first-half goal that Tech has overcome this season, counting its exhibition match at No. 25 Denver.
Similar to its performance two days earlier against Notre Dame, Tech struck quickly to start the second half with Rohmer finding the back of the net in just the 56th minute. It was the first goal of the season for Rohmer, who provided the equalizer off a rebound of her own shot attempt that struck the crossbar.
“Briana really had to recompose herself because I thought she could have scored the first one,” Stone said. “It was a great goal because she never let her guard down and didn't miss on her second try. She absolutely crushed it into the upper net.”
Tech closed the match leading the Eagles, 16-12, in shot attempts, five of which that came from Beckie. Only three of Eastern Michigan's attempts went on goal against Tech goalkeeper Lauren Watson, who collected two saves in the win.
The undefeated weekend pushed Tech to its fourth 3-0 start in the last five seasons. The Red Raiders, who need two more victories to match their best start in school history, are undefeated through the first three matches for the fifth time in program history.
Tech will look to continue that streak next weekend when the Red Raiders host both Sam Houston State and Portland State at the John Walker Soccer Complex. Kickoff against Sam Houston State is slated for 7 p.m. start.