LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech soccer team hits the road for the first time in two weeks for a date with No. 8 Texas on Friday, Sept. 29, in Austin, then returns home to face TCU on Sunday, Oct. 1, at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
The Red Raiders (8-2-1, 1-0-1) face a pair of unbeaten teams in conference play this weekend, first taking the undefeated Longhorns (10-0-0, 2-0-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. Then, Tech returns home to face the Horned Frogs (8-3-0, 2-0-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Lubbock. Both matches will be televised, as Friday’s contest will air on the Longhorn Network and Sunday’s on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. Live stats will be provided for both matches via Statbroadcast.com.
“They’re very athletic, have some terrific attacking personalities and what’s been impressive about Texas so far this year and the past two years is they’ve been hard to score on,” head coach Tom Stone said. “They always have good goalkeeping and well-organized defenders. Even when they play three in the back, they form a nice wall in front of their goal and they’re confident in blocking shots & crosses. This is a more well-balanced team than we’ve seen from Texas in quite a few years.”
Tech began its Big 12 slate with a win and a draw last weekend at the John Walker Soccer Complex. The Red Raiders welcomed K-State to the league with a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats on Friday night, then played to a 1-1 draw with Kansas on Sunday afternoon.
The victory over K-State on Friday marked the first win for Tech in a conference opener since 2013, when the Red Raiders defeated Iowa State, 2-1. The final score against Kansas was only the second time in the series history the two teams have played to a draw, with the other coming in 2009 at the Big 12 Tournament (1-1).
Four different Red Raiders scored Tech’s four goals over the weekend. Sophomore midfielder Jordie Harr (1), freshman forwards Ally Griffin (5) & Kirsten Davis (4) and senior defender Rebekah O’Brien (1) tallied goals, with the latter coming against KU on Sunday.
Three of the last four meetings between the Red Raiders and the Longhorns have seen overtime, with last year’s match the first since 2014 not needing extra time to complete. The 2016 matchup between the Red Raiders and the Horned Frogs, a 1-0 score in Fort Worth, resulted in the first victory for TCU since 2008. From 2009-2015, Tech outscored TCU, 17-5, over the eight contests.
The Longhorns enter the weekend at 10-0-0, their best start in program history. Cyera Hintzen leads the way on offense with five goals and four assists, the team leader in both categories. She is one of four Longhorns with multiple goals this season, as eight overall have tallied at least one goal in 2017. Texas’ keeper, Nicole Curry, has played all 10 matches and allowed only four goals, with 23 saves and seven shutouts.
TCU is having one of its best seasons entering the second week of conference play at 8-3-0 overall. Allison Ganter tops an offense that has eight different goal scorers and seven with multiple tallies this year with five goals and four assists. Katie Lund has played all 11 matches in between the pipes, starting eight, while Emily Alvarado has started the other three and participated in five contests, as the duo combined to give up only seven goals this season.
Heading into the weekend, Tech and Texas have scored the same amount of goals at 17 each, while TCU has racked up 23 goals and 25 assists, leading the Big 12 in assists per game (2.27) and total assists. The Longhorns top the conference in goals-against average (.393) and shots on goal per game (7.5).
Tech’s 17 goals have come from nine different Red Raiders, with freshmen forwards Ally Griffin (5) and Kirsten Davis (4) combining for nine of the team’s tallies in 2017. Four of Griffin’s five scores have been game-winning goals, which is tied for the conference lead and ranks second in the NCAA.
“I think if Ally didn’t have five and KD didn’t have four goals, it would worry me that we’re just spread out so thin and there’s no real dominant scorers,” Stone said. “But, we have two that have almost 10 goals between them and they’re freshmen, then we have a bunch of other players that have gotten singles & doubles. For example, Savanna Jones has two coming off the bench. That’s exciting. As long as you have one or two who are the consistent ones, then spreading out the rest of the goals is great news for us.”
When the Red Raiders return home on Sunday, they’ll be coming back to an environment that has been very friendly to them this season and in the program’s history. In 2017, Tech has put together a 4-0-1 record at the John Walker Soccer Complex, outscoring opponents 12-2 in the process. Since it’s opening, the Red Raiders are 69-20-6 at The Walker.
After the match against the Longhorns, Tech heads home to Lubbock to take on TCU on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.