LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech will return to the big dance for the sixth time in seven years this weekend, playing host to Ivy League champion Princeton under the lights at the John Walker Complex on Friday.
The Red Raiders (13-5-2, 5-3-1 Big 12) and Tigers (11-3-2, 5-1-1 Ivy League) will meet for the first time to kick off this year's NCAA Tournament. It will be the fifth time Tech has hosted a first round matchup, and first time since 2015. The Red Raiders will get the chance to defend their perfect NCAA home record of 4-0, having never even allowed a goal at the Walker in an opening round game.
"We thought our resume gave us a great chance to host the opening round, so we're excited to be able to share this NCAA Tournament game with some of the best fans in college soccer," said head coach Tom Stone. "If the atmosphere is anything like it was for our season finale versus Texas two weeks ago, this could be a special night at the Walker."
Texas Tech's NCAA history dates back to 2012, when Stone's team reached the tournament for the first time in program history. Since then, they have heard their names called each year with the exception of 2017. The Red Raiders have reached the second round in four of their five appearances, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen once, in 2014, where they took a tie game with No. 2 Florida into the final ten minutes of play.
The Tigers will make their way to Lubbock by way of their second consecutive Ivy League title after beating Penn at home last weekend. In a matchup that is sure to feature strong defensive play, the Tigers and Red Raiders will enter the NCAA postseason tied for first in the nation in shutouts with 12.
The Tigers put together an incredible run in last year's tournament, upsetting the likes of No. 21 NC State and No. 2 UNC before eventually falling to No. 4 UCLA in the Elite Eight.
"We are excited to welcome Princeton to Lubbock and the campus of Texas Tech," Stone said. "After their terrific NCAA run last year, we are well aware of their quality and recognize we have to be at our best for this opening round game to be able to move on."
First touch for Friday night's home match is scheduled for 6 p.m.