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Rejuvenated Soccer Team Looks to Continue Early Success

Tina Rincon
Tina Rincon

Aug. 31, 2006

By: Brandon Hughes

The Texas Tech soccer team is undergoing a slight makeover and so far the new look Red Raiders are undefeated after defeating the University of Texas-San Antonio and TCU this past weekend.

This year the soccer team has a new verse that is being sung around R.P. Fuller Stadium along with 15 freshmen to boot.

This year the team has adopted the motto: `You'll never walk alone.' The saying has roots in European soccer and it is designed to increase fan excitement and camaraderie with the soccer team.

Senior midfielder, Ana Morton, said it is amazing to turn on a European soccer match and see that kind of support. She said she hopes the soccer team can keep getting the kind of support they had this weekend.

"This weekend we had a great turnout and I think it made a huge difference," Morton said. "They really started to partake in the chants and the cheers we've recorded. It made it a very fun place to be."

Morton also credits the off-season workouts the team participated in to their improved status. She said the team is very happy with the start of the season this and believes it will be a good thrust into this weekend's games versus two solid opponents.

"Honestly, it was the start we were looking for," Morton said. "This weekend is going to be a true test."

"We're real excited about the way we've started off. We've got music playing everyday when you walk in the locker room. There are happy faces and everyone's laughing, but we know when to get serious and turn it on."

The announced attendance for Sunday's match versus TCU was 725. Head coach Neil McGuire said he was very pleased with the turnout and thought the fan support was fantastic.

"When we took over the program, we had a vision of what we wanted it to be," McGuire said.

"It's taken a long time to get the players where we felt like we were going to move the program forward. Obviously now, we're starting to see that come true."

McGuire also noticed that the athleticism the Red Raider soccer team showed has increased when compared to past years. He said he believed his team was the athletically superior team on the field and believes that is a very important part in what needs to happen to be successful.

In commanding a team that has not be a yearly perennial powerhouse, McGuire said he has taken a backseat approach in coaching. He said he tries to let the players work things out on their own a lot of the time.

"Well, the way I coach is I try to remove myself a lot from the things they do, McGuire said. "I try to make this a player-driven team, not a coach-driven team."

"They're really driving the show and everything they've done so far, they deserve full credit for."

The players and coaches said the hard work they have put in so far is fulfilling, but the team is anything but satisfied.

Tina Rincon, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper, said she was very happy about this past weekend's performance because since in her tenure with the team, they have not had the kind of start they have this year.

Rincon added that since the team has so many freshmen, the success was good because they haven't played together all that much. Still, Rincon is not being complacent.

"We're going to play some really tough opponents," Rincon said. We just have to make sure we know there are bigger challenges ahead."

"We're going up there to win two games and that's our plan."

On Friday, the Red Raider squad will face against No. 21 Purdue and then on Saturday, Tech will play Indiana.

After this weekend road trip, the Red Raiders will be home to play six straight matches at R.P Fuller Stadium.

Rincon thanked the fans for the recent support but urges them to keep coming back.

"Come back and watch us play more," Rincon said. It's only going to get better from here."



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