No. 17 Texas Tech Opens 2014 Season Sunday Against Oral Roberts|
Aug. 23, 2014
TEXAS TECH IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
For the second-straight season, Texas Tech appeared in each of the collegiate soccer preseason polls, debuting at No. 17 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings. The Red Raiders were also among the top-25 in two other polls, coming in at No. 15 by TopDrawerSoccer.com and No. 22 by Soccer America. This is the highest preseason ranking in school history for the Red Raiders, who opened the 2013 season ranked 24th by the NSCAA. Tech closed the 2013 season ranked 17th in the NSCAA poll, its highest postseason ranking in school history.
TEXAS TECH ALL-TIME IN SEASON OPENERS
The Red Raiders enter Sunday evening riding a six-match winning streak in season openers following a 1-0 victory over New Mexico a year ago. The victory improved Texas Tech to 12-8 all-time in season openers, including a 6-1 mark under eighth-year head coach Tom Stone. During its six-match winning streak, Tech is out-scoring opponents, 16-1, in season openers with the lone goal coming in 2012 by Idaho. This will be the sixth time in the past seven seasons where the Red Raiders, who are 9-3 all-time in home season openers, have begun at the friendly confines of the John Walker Soccer Complex. Tech and Oral Roberts have met twice previously in season openers, splitting a pair of matches in 2003 (3-0 ORU) and 2004 (6-2 Tech).
LARGE CROWD EXPECTED FOR SUNDAY'S SEASON OPENER
Since the John Walker Complex opened in 2008, large crowds have become quite normal as Texas Tech has averaged roughly 1,000 fans each of the past four seasons. The Red Raiders are expected to play in front of another large crowd Sunday evening, a regular occurrence for Tech in season openers. Tech has played in front of 1,000 or more fans in each of its home openers the past four seasons, including a crowd of 1,584 against Colorado State a year ago that ranked as the eighth-largest in program history.
INSIDE THE ORAL ROBERTS SERIES
Texas Tech will be meeting Oral Roberts on Sunday for the ninth time in school history on the soccer pitch. The Red Raiders are 5-3 all-time against the Golden Eagles with wins in three of the past four meetings between the two schools. This is the fifth time Oral Roberts has traveled to Lubbock to face the Red Raiders, who enter Sunday's contest a perfect 4-0 when hosting the Golden Eagles. Tech is 2-0 against Oral Roberts under head coach Tom Stone thanks to a 4-0 rout on Sept. 18, 2008, and a 1-0 shutout victory on Sept. 12, 2010. The two schools have opened a season against each other twice previously with Oral Roberts pulling off a 3-0 victory in 2003 before Tech responded with a 6-2 win a year later.
RED RAIDERS LEAD THE BIG 12 FOR VICTORIES OVER LAST TWO SEASONS
Winning has pretty much become contagious for the Red Raiders the past two seasons under Tom Stone. During that stretch, Texas Tech has recorded 34 victories and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship in both seasons. This is the winningest stretch for the Red Raiders in school history as Tech won 16 matches in 2012 and then followed up with a school-record 18 victories a year ago. That success has made Tech the winningest Big 12 program the past two seasons as the Red Raiders lead all league opponents in victories as Baylor has recorded 30 wins while West Virginia has combined for 27 in third place.
THE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
The John Walker Soccer Complex has become quite the home-field advantage for the Red Raiders the past few seasons. Texas Tech, behind its normal raucous crowd, is an impressive 19-2 the past two seasons at home with victories over in-state rival Texas and Big 12 regular season champion West Virginia during that stretch. The Red Raiders snapped the single-season school record with 10 home victories in 2013, breaking the previous mark of nine set just the year before.
RED RAIDERS RETURN BULK OF SCORING FROM 2013
Texas Tech returns over 70 percent of its scoring from the 2013 season where the Red Raiders totaled 48 goals, their most in a season since 1996. Underclassmen contributed most of that scoring as 35 of Tech's 48 goals came from freshmen or sophomores. Janine Beckie led all Red Raiders with 12 goals which ranked among the Big 12 leaders at the conclusion of the year. She was followed by fellow sophomores Alli Murphy and Briana Rohmer who connected on five goals each as well as Caity Heap who was tied for fourth on the team with four goals.