Red Raiders Open Season With Pair of Home Matches

The Red Raider soccer team opens the 2012-13 athletic season with a pair of matches at the John Walker Soccer Complex.

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Aug. 16, 2012

LUBBOCK, Texas - The 2012-13 Texas Tech athletics season officially kicks off Friday night at the John Walker Soccer Complex as the Red Raider soccer team faces Idaho for its regular season opener. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m., and is the first of two slated for this weekend.

Texas Tech will face New Mexico Sunday at noon, also at the John Walker Soccer Complex.

"We're excited about having two quality teams on opening weekend at home," head coach Tom Stone said. "We know they are both going to challenge us and we couldn't ask for a better match up on opening weekend."

The Red Raiders are coming off an impressive win over Utah during their lone exhibition match of the preseason in which they shutout the Utes 1-0 in Denver on Aug. 11. Junior Hayley Haagsma provided the game-winning goal in the 79th minute of play as Tech outshot Utah 8-2 in the second half of the match.

The Red Raiders enter Friday's match as winners of their last four season-opening matches dating back to the 2008 season. Meanwhile, sixth-year head coach Tom Stone is 4-1 in season-opening matches.

Tech welcomes back nine returning starters for the 2012 season including Preseason All-Big 12 selections Jaelene Hinkle and Tiffini Smith. The Red Raiders also welcome back four-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week Victoria Esson in front of the net.

During her first season as Tech's goalkeeper, Esson posted a remarkable seven shutouts to rank second in school history for a single season.

A total of 11 newcomers appear on Tech's 2012 roster to make up one of the top signing classes in school history. The bulk of highly-touted newcomers will look to have a significant impact for the Red Raiders this year.

Texas Tech Storylines

Suddenlink Gameday Live to Broadcast Live From John Walker Soccer Complex

Double-T 104.3-FM will broadcast `Suddenlink Gameday Live' from the John Walker Soccer Complex Friday from 3-5:30 p.m.

The two-and-a-half hour pregame show will feature interviews with head coach Tom Stone, associate head coach Aaron Gordon along with in-depth pregame coverage. It will mark the first of three appearances at the John Walker Soccer Complex throughout the 2012 season as the show will return on Sept. 28 for the Big 12 opener and on Oct. 26 for the season finale showdown with Oklahoma State.

Red Raiders Shutout Utah in Preseason Exhibition
The Red Raiders shutout Utah 1-0 in their preseason Exhibition match against Utah in Denver on Aug. 11. Junior Hayley Haagsma scored the game-winning goal in the 79th minute as Tech outshot the Utes 8-2 in the second half.

Hinkle and Smith Tabbed to Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Sophomore defender Jaelene Hinkle and senior for¬ward Tiffini Smith were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team as voted on by the conference coaches. Hinkle was one of just two sophomores named to the team.

During her freshman campaign, Hinkle was named second team All-Big 12 following the 2011 season, while being a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 Newcomer team. Meanwhile, Smith was named to the All-Big 12 Newcomer team in 2009.

Red Raiders Cruise Through 2012 Spring Schedule
Tech finished its 2012 spring schedule with an impres¬sive 4-0-1 mark. Perhaps most impressively Tech did not allow a single goal during the five-match stretch. During the stretch the Red Raiders picked up wins over LSU, New Mexico and TCU during the spring. LSU and New Mexico advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.

Tech will face both new Big 12 rival TCU along with New Mexico during the 2012 season

Red Raiders Return Core in 2012
Texas Tech will take the field with one of its most experienced squads in school history for the 2012 season as 19 letterwinners and nine starters return to the field this year.

Those 19 letterwinners account for 78 percent of the team's minutes in 2011 and 70 percent of Red Raiders' scoring. Among the returning core is leading scorer Jessica Fuston (8 goals in 2011), third team All-NSCAA Central Region and unanimous All-Big 12 Newcomer Team selection Jaelene Hinkle along with All-Big 12 Newcomer goalkeeper Victoria Esson (7 shutouts in 2011).

Tech Among Leaders Nationally in Attendance
Texas Tech ranked No. 13 nationally in home attendance during the 2011 season with an average of 1,332 fans per game.

Tech broke two single-game attendance last season with a record of 2,228 on the Oct. 15 match against Kansas. The mark of 2,228 is 148% capacity at the John Walker Soccer Complex.




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