LUBBOCK, Texas – Riding the momentum from an opening weekend that included two shutouts – including one over No. 18 Pepperdine – Texas Tech soccer will head west for their first regular season road contest of the fall. The Red Raiders will take on the Aztecs of San Diego State Friday before returning to Lubbock to play Abilene Christian Sunday evening.
The Aztecs, who were tabbed to win the Mountain West this season, have been a familiar foe for the Red Raiders lately; this will be the third straight year the two teams have met. The Red Raiders beat the Aztecs in each of those prior meetings by a score of 1-0. The Tech coaching staff has come to know the SDSU team as quick, athletic and well-coached.
"They were picked to win their conference, so they're a good team," said assistant coach Gibbs Keeton. "We've played them a couple times before, and they have athletes and the Cali possession style. We look forward to that game – it's a mutual benefit where both teams are going to get better."
Keeton's opening weekend was made even sweeter when Tech goalkeeper sophomore Marissa Zucchetto was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for her performances over the Lobos and Waves. Zucchetto stepped up during crunch time in both contests, especially when she had to protect a one-goal lead for 88 minutes against nationally-ranked Pepperdine.
"It was quite the end of both games," Keeton said. "Anytime, you're ahead, the game changes a lot, and Zu was composed the whole entire time. She was very sure of the saves she was making."
Sunday's match with Abilene Christian will also mark the third time the two programs have met. The Red Raiders also own a 2-0 record against the Wildcats after beating them in 2014 and 2016. Projected third in the Southland Conference, the Wildcats have started the year 1-1 after topping UTEP and falling to No. 15 Baylor.
"They're an opponent that we played in the spring and an opponent we play often," said Keeton of the Wildcats. "We'll be at home and we want to keep that standard of protecting our home field at the Walker."
First touch for Tech's Friday night face off at SDSU is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT. Sunday's match with Abilene Christian will begin at 7 p.m. CT at the John Walker Soccer Complex. Tickets for Sunday's match can be purchased here.