Red Raiders Head West For Under Armour Invitational
Texas Tech (5-2-0) continues its season long five-match road swing this weekend at the Cal State Fullerton Under Armour Invitational.
Sept. 13, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech soccer team is set to continue its season long five-match road swing this weekend as the Red Raiders travel to California to compete in the Cal State Fullerton Under Armour Invitational.
The Red Raiders (5-2-0) will face perhaps their biggest test of the 2012 season Friday night in a battle with No. 20 Long Beach State. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) at Titan Stadium. Texas Tech will then conclude play Sunday with a match against host school Cal State Fullerton at 3:30 p.m.(CT).
"These are two very good West Coast teams," head coach Tom Stone said. "Cal State Fullerton does a great job hosting this event, and Cal State has put us in a situation where we play Long Beach State on Friday night and the host team on Sunday. Long Beach State is probably the best team on our non-conference schedule."
The current five-match road swing, which features three teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011, is the longest stretch of matches away from the John Walker Soccer Complex since 2003 when the Red Raiders opened with the season with a seven-match road trip.
"It's a process," Stone said. "You talk about a journey, it's not just the ups and downs but it's an entire process - and we have gotten better week to week."
Texas Tech enters the weekend on a two-match losing skid after opening the 2012 season with a perfect 5-0 record.
The Red Raiders are led offensively by a dynamic scoring duo in junior Jessica Fuston and freshman Janine Beckie. The two have combined for seven of Tech's 11 goals this season. Meanwhile Fuston was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week following her hat trick performance in a 4-0 shutout of Montana on Aug. 26.
Texas Tech is anchored defensively by junior goalkeeper Victoria Esson. Esson, who has started eight consecutive matches dating back to last season, has recorded three-and-a-half shutouts this season to go along with an impressive .821 save percentage.
Long Beach State (5-2-0) enters Friday's match fresh off a 3-2 overtime win over North Texas in College Station on Sunday.
This weekend will mark the first meeting in program history with both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.