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Red Raiders Travel to Norman for Big 12 Showdown
 

 
Seniors Priscilla Esquivel and Kim Cypert will play their last home match Sunday against Oklahoma State on Senior Day.
 
Seniors Priscilla Esquivel and Kim Cypert will play their last home match Sunday against Oklahoma State on Senior Day.
 

Oct. 17, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas -

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Texas Tech at Oklahoma, Fri., Oct. 19, 7 p.m.
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State, Sun., Oct. 21, 1 p.m.

ON TAP FOR THE RED RAIDERS
Following possibly the most successful weekend in school history, Texas Tech returns to the road for a 7 p.m. match against Oklahoma on Fr., Oct. 19, before returning to R.P. Fuller Stadium Sun., Oct. 21, to face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Senior Day.

RED RAIDERS ON THE AIR
All of Tech's home matches this season will be broadcast live through Red Raider All-Access at texastech.com. Eric Quisenberry will provide the play-by play, while Gabriel Martinez will join him as the color commentator. All Sunday home matches can also be heard around the Lubbock area on AM News 1420 KJDL.

RED RAIDERS UNDER NEW DIRECTION
Following a stint as an assistant at Clemson, Tom Stone comes to Texas Tech for his first season as a collegiate head coach. This is not Stone's first time to be a head coach, however. He led the Atlanta Beat of the WUSA for all three years of its existence from 2001-2003. Stone has also worked as the lead soccer analyst for CSTV, Fox Sports and ESPN, while also serving as a guest columnist for various soccer websites.

SCOUTING THE SOONERS
Oklahoma enters Friday's match finding itself on the inside of the Big 12 Championship line in eighth place, sitting 2-3 in conference and 6-6-2 overall. The Sooners are led by freshman forward Whitney Palmer, with six goals, four that were game-winners, on 29 shots. Senior forward Tenesha Duncan trails with four goals on only 18 shots. Redshirt freshman Tara MacDonald and senior Jennifer Nichols have split time in goal this season, with MacDonald leading the duo with more starts and saves. Tech is 4-6 all-time against the Sooners, losing all of the previous six meetings.

 

 

SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
No. 23 Oklahoma State arrives in Lubbock with 3-2-1 conference record, good for fourth in the Big 12. The Cowboys are now 9-3-2 overall after defeating Baylor and tying Kansas. Midfielders senior Sasa Jackson and sophomore Kasey Langdon lead OSU with five and four goals, respectively. In goal, junior Erin Stigler has 44 saves through the Kansas match, accumulating three saves in the process. Tech is 4-6-1 all-time against the Cowboys, with the Red Raiders losing five of the last six meetings.

RED RAIDERS CLOSING IN ON BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP BID
With nine points heading into this weekend, Tech is slowly advancing to its first Big 12 Championship appearance since 1999. The Red Raiders have been to the championship twice in school history, losing in the opening round both times. While Texas A&M and Missouri seem to have their stake atop the standings, Tech is one of five teams battling for the four remaining qualifying spots. This year's championship will be held in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 7-11.

LAST TIME OUT
The Red Raiders solidified their name among contenders for the eight spots in next month's Big 12 Championship after beating Iowa State, 3-1, and Nebraska, 2-1, last weekend. Tech had not won consecutive conference matches since 2000.

HARRISON NAMED BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore defender Brittney Harrison was named this week's Defensive Player of the Week by the Big 12 Conference after scoring her second goal of the season in last Friday's 3-1 victory over Iowa State. This is the second regular season award for Harrison as she was Newcomer of the Week last October. She was also named to last season's Big 12 All-Newcomer team.

REZAIE HITTING STRIDE OFFENSIVELY
With two goals last weekend, sophomore midfielder Zhaleh Rezaie became the first Red Raider to have goals in consecutive games since teammate Brittney Harrison did so last year. Even more impressive, both goals were considered game-winners, making all three of her goals this season game-winners.

HARRISON HONORED BY SOCCER BUZZ
Because of her stellar play, Brittney Harrison is now getting recognized nationally, as Soccer Buzz named her to this week's Elite Team of the Week. The Plano, Texas, native is the first Red Raider to ever be honored by the publication. Oklahoma State's Sierra Strawser was the only other Big 12 player recognized.

RED RAIDERS GROWING OFFENSIVELY
With the loss of Brittney Harrison to the back line, Tech's biggest concern throughout the season has been the offensive frontline. Harrison was arguably the most potent offensive weapon last season, leading the Red Raiders in goals, points, and shots. With their backs against the wall, the Red Raiders mounted a strong offensive performance last weekend, getting goals from four different players, while also posting five goals combined for the first time since early last season.

CDEBACA COLLECTS FIRST CAREER GOAL
When Halie Cdebaca graduated from local Lubbock Monterey high school last May, all she knew was that she would have the opportunity to walk-on to the Tech soccer team this fall. Already 12 matches into the season, the freshman has started in nine matches, while posting her first career goal last Friday against Iowa State.

RINCON CLIMBING SCHOOL SAVES LIST
By collecting five saves last Friday against Iowa State, junior goalkeeper Tina Rincon climbed to third on the school's all-time saves list. The Carrollton, Texas, native now has 60 this season and 181 over her three year career. Rincon has a long way to go to overtake second place, as Megan Knauss posted 266 saves through her four-year career. Brittney Peese owns the school record with 329.

WILBER BENEFITTING FROM HEIGHT
Being the team's tallest player at 5-11, sophomore midfielder Maegan Wilber has made it a habit to be constantly around the ball, no matter the placement on the field. The strategy paid off this past weekend at Wilber scored her second goal of the season, tapping in a Sarabeth Clopton rebound. The Tijeras, N.M., product has already matched her season total in goals from her freshman year.

ESQUIVEL TAKING ON "IRON MAN" ROLE
Despite being one of the most accomplished players in Red Raider soccer history, perhaps the most encouraging feature about senior Priscilla Esquivel is her leadership. According to Stone, the driving force behind the Red Raiders success has been Esquivel's ability to make plays across the field playing numerous positions and her resilience to never give up.

CLOPTON, HARRISON HARD TO REPLACE
Besides being the team's top two defenders, sophomore defenders Sarabeth Clopton and Brittney Harrison also lead the team in most minutes played with 916 each. The duo's only minutes on the bench came last Sunday against Kansas.

DE LEON PROVIDING SPARK IN FIRST YEAR
With two goals through 12 matches, freshman forward Karen De Leon is tied for the team lead in total goals. The Las Cruces, N.M., native has started in seven matches thus far averaging 47.7 minutes per match.

RED RAIDERS SURVIVING AS THE "LONE RANGER"
Once every 10 years, a Big 12 school has to play two conference games each weekend, while its Sunday opponent only has to play one. This season is Tech's year to be the "Lone Ranger", but the Red Raiders seem to be adapting well in holding No. 3 Texas to just one goal last Sunday. Tech's future Sunday opponents include No. 23 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Texas A&M.

GOALS BY COMMITTEE
Through 12 matches, the Red Raiders have followed a goal by committee approach. While Zhaleh Rezaie leads the team with three goals, nine different Red Raiders have goals heading into this weekend. In last weekend's sweep over Iowa State and Nebraska, four different Red Raiders combined for a total of five goals.

FROM THE METROPLEX TO LUBBOCK
Of the Red Raiders' 21 players, 11 hail from the Dallas Metroplex making the September weekend trip to face TCU and SMU a homecoming of sorts. Additionally, all three Red Raider coaches grew up in the Dallas area. Before their hire at Tech, assistants Aaron and Ashley Gordon directed and coached the youth soccer club FC Dallas.

TECH SURPASSING PRESEASON PREDICTIONS
Prior to the season, the Red Raiders were predicted to finish 10th in the conference by the Big 12 coaches. Through six conference matches, however, Tech is quickly establishing itself as a Big 12 Championship contender, sitting in sixth place heading into another important weekend of conference play.

CYPERT NAMED CHICK-FIL-A COMMUNITY CHAMPION
For her work off the field, senior forward Kim Cypert was named the Big 12 Conference's Chick-Fil-A Community Champion on the Sept. 15 edition of FSN's Big 12 Showcase. Besides being a regular on the President's and Dean's list, Cypert is involved with Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.

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