LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech soccer team returns home to take on No. 25 Oklahoma State in its only match of the weekend on Friday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. at the John Walker Soccer Complex.
Friday’s match between the Red Raiders (8-5-1, 1-3-1) and the Cowgirls (11-2-2, 4-1-0) will also air live on FOX Sports Net, with an online stream available on FOXSportsGo.com & the FOX Sports Go app. Live stats will also be available via TexasTech.Statbroadcast.com.
“We know what we’re up against,” head coach Tom Stone said. “We know these guys have been having a great season. They’re rolling, everything they seem to do works and their postseason is pretty much secured. But in our case, we have a choice to get down about a couple results we didn’t like or just stay the course. So far, the girls have had a great attitude and understand what we have to get done here for the rest of the season.”
For the second-straight season, Tech will host OSU in Lubbock, and will be looking for its first win over the Cowgirls since a 2-0 victory at home on Oct. 26, 2012. Since then, the Red Raiders have only lost twice to OSU and played to a draw in three matches in 2013 (0-0), 2014 (1-1) and 2015 (2-2).
“They’ve changed their shape, they’ve become more difficult to handle,” Stone said on Oklahoma State. “Last season, they struggled a little bit, but last spring & fall they’ve turned it around. They’re going to be a tough out for anybody. They’ve only lost to two of the top 10 teams in the country. It’s a really good squad that Colin [Carmichael] has put together and they’re playing well at all the right times.”
The Red Raiders enter the weekend in seventh in the conference standings with four points. Tech’s next two matches are against the leaders of the Big 12, as Oklahoma State & No. 8 West Virginia sit atop the standings with 12 points at 4-1 in league play.
Tech is one of seven teams in the Big 12 that rank within the top 78 of the latest NCAA RPI poll, checking in at No. 68. Since the first poll four weeks ago, the Red Raiders have improved their status each week, with another great opportunity to continue that streak over the next weeks against OSU (No. 50) and on the road at WVU (No. 7).
Last Friday, the Red Raiders dropped a 3-0 decision to Baylor in Waco. Tech was unable to overcome a 2-0 deficit after halftime, despite having its better offensive output in the second frame, logging five shots on goal in the second half, with three coming from freshman forward Ally Griffin.
This season, Griffin leads the Red Raiders in every offensive category except assists, a set she makes an appearance in with one coming on Tech’s first goal at Texas on Sept. 29. Griffin tops the squad in points (11), goals (five), shots (47), shots on goal (24) and game-winning goals (four).
Griffin and fellow freshman Kirsten Davis, who has scored four goals, combined with the experience of sophomores Jade King and Jordie Harr, have rejuvenated Tech’s offense to numbers that are near or have already surpassed last year’s totals. With four contests left on the regular season schedule, the Red Raiders have recorded 19 goals through 14 matches, putting them within one of last year’s 20 goals in 20 contests. Tech has pushed past its assist total of nine & point total of 49 by putting up 12 & 50, respectively, on the field in 2017.
Through five matches, the Red Raiders sit in the top three in the Big 12 in every team offensive category, despite a rough stretch over the last two weeks. Tech is second in assists (6) per game (1.20), while sitting in third in shots (78), points (18), points per game (3.60), goals (6) and goals per game (1.20).
Just like last year, a freshman leads the way on offense, as Griffin has five goals and one assist for 11 points, while fellow freshman forward Kirsten Davis has four goals and eight points on the year. Sophomore midfielder Jordie Harr has also passed her assist total from 2016, with four this season, after serving up three last year.
Tech continues to split time in net between junior Carissa Christensen and freshman Marissa Zucchetto, with Christensen earning all 14 starts in 2017. The duo has combined for 40 saves, with Christensen at 23.
OSU enters the weekend having scored a Big 12-best 35 goals, including nine in conference play, while giving up 11 overall, with three against Big 12 foes. Twelve different Cowgirls have recorded a tally this year, with Haley Woodard and Taylor Olson leading the charge with six goals each.
The Cowgirls have only lost two matches, both on the road to then-top 15 opponents in No. 15 California (Sept. 17 – 3-0) and No. 8 West Virginia (Oct. 6 – 1-0). OSU rebounded to cap last weekend with a 2-1 overtime victory at Iowa State on Oct. 8.
They’ll enter a tough environment on Friday in Lubbock, as the Red Raiders have posted a 4-1-1 record at the John Walker Soccer Complex this season. Overall, Tech has put together a nice record at the Walker, with a 69-21-6 record in Lubbock since the facility opened in 2008.
After Friday’s match, the Red Raiders hit the road for an early week facing West Virginia on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. CDT, followed by a trip to Iowa State on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m.