LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech jumped into the national polls to round out the 2018 campaign Tuesday, marking the first time the Red Raiders have carried a United Soccer Coaches ranking into the offseason since 2015.
Tech’s final standing among the country’s top-25 was solidified by an NCAA Tournament appearance that saw the Red Raiders rout a 21st-ranked Princeton squad, 3-0, in the first round before taking a 12th-ranked Virginia team to penalty kicks in the second round. In the Big 12 Championship, Tech avenged a regular season loss to TCU in the quarterfinals before taking one-seed Baylor to overtime.
When all was said and done, the Red Raiders went 5-2-2 in the final five weeks of the season, with three of those five wins contributing to a program-record four victories over ranked teams.
Tech first appeared in the national polls in 2018 at No. 21 after jumping out to a 4-0 start on the season. A loss to Boston College on the road would knock them down to 25, but an offensive explosion on Senior Weekend during which the Red Raiders scored 10 goals against the likes of FIU and Oregon State moved them to 24th. Road victories over California opponents CSU-Northridge and Loyola Marymount brought Tech the closest it would be to that original 21st ranking as they came in to the fifth week of the year at 22. During the Red Raiders’ strong second half, they would alternate weeks receiving votes or not being ranked.
Tech’s end-of-season ranking in 2015 saw the Red Raiders placed 21st in the country after winning the program’s first-ever Big 12 Championship. The Red Raiders’ NCAA Tournament run also went into the second round that year, where they took a 17th-ranked Auburn squad to overtime in Tallahassee.