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Red Raiders Open Big 12 Play at West Virginia


Texas Tech opens Big 12 Conference play Friday night at West Virginia.

Sept. 20, 2012

 Texas Tech Notes   |   video camera RaiderVision All-Access Preview

LUBBOCK, Texas - Fresh off claiming the Under Armour Invitational title last weekend, the Texas Tech soccer team will open Big 12 play Friday night in a showdown with conference newcomer West Virginia.

First kick for Friday's match is set for 6 p.m. (CT).

"We are excited to get out there and accept the challenge," Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone said. "We certainly have confidence from last weekend, but more than anything we are fine-tuning the details. I feel like we are in a good place right now to begin Big 12 play."

The Red Raiders (7-2, 0-0 Big 12) ended a two-match losing skid last weekend by claiming back-to-back victories in California including a thrilling 3-2 win over No. 20 Long Beach State.

Texas Tech is 4-1 in Big 12 openers under Stone which includes three straight victories dating back to 2009.

The Red Raiders are led offensively by Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in freshman Janine Beckie and junior forward Jessica Fuston. The two dynamic scoring threats have combined for 10 of Texas Tech's 16 goals this season.

Beckie alone scored three goals last weekend in two Texas Tech victories at the Under Armour Invitational on her way to being named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Both Beckie and Fuston have earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season.

Meanwhile, veteran goalkeeper Victoria Esson has anchored the Red Raider defense with a total of 33 saves this season - good for third in the Big 12.

West Virginia (4-3-3, 0-0 Big 12) enters Friday's showdown on a two-game winning streak after picking up wins over Towson and High Point last weekend - both at home. The Mountaineers, who won three of the last five Big East Championships, are 3-2-2 at home this year.

West Virginia is led offensively by sophomore forward Kate Schwindel who has netted a team-high seven goals this season. Her seven goals are tied for tops in the Big 12 entering Friday.

Texas Tech will return home for the first time in three weeks on Sunday to face New Mexico State at the John Walker Soccer Complex.


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