Texas Tech women’s soccer program announces spring schedule
LUBBOCK, Texas (Via Texas Tech University) – Head coach Tom Stone announced Thursday the spring schedule for Texas Tech Soccer. The Red Raiders will play six games, highlighted by contests with defending SEC Champion LSU and the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
“We have scheduled a challenging slate of games,” Stone said at Wednesday’s practice. “Annually, we kick off with WTAMU and ACU in the same day, which will be a great opportunity for those who want to challenge for playing time to show us what they have. LSU are the SEC Champions, TCU is a Big 12 second-round team and New Mexico are excellent competitors. The Houston Dash are an NWSL team, so that’s a whole other experience for our girls who are looking to play professionally. We’ve got to be ready for these games, and we look forward to this as much as the players do.”
Stone’s squad has begun preparation for their spring campaign, already completing their first week of practices. The team has undergone fitness tests and conditioning, in addition to practices that have a heavy focus on technique.
“The NCAA time limitations put us in a situation where we have to be quite economical during the eight hour period, so we focus a lot on technique,” he said. “There’s a lot functional training of the positions.”
With limited time for coaches to be involved in practices during the spring, Stone also stresses the importance of self-improvement and extracurricular training.
“They’ve got to do a lot of training on their own and develop the things we’ve asked them to work on,” he said. “If they do – and they did last year – it gives you the foundation to have a great fall.”
Tech’s spring schedule will begin with a home doubleheader against West Texas A&M and Abilene Christian on March 2nd. The two-match day will provide the opportunity for the entirety of the roster to see game action.
The Red Raiders will then hit the road for their next three matches, beginning with a March 9thgame at TCU. The matchup will come just a few short months after Tech dismissed the Horned Frogs from the Big 12 Championship in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in Kansas City.
Tech’s contest on March 30th will be against the Houston Dash of the NWSL. The Dash – who have previously drafted former Red Raiders Janine Beckie and Caity Heap – finished 2018 with a 9-10-5 record to place sixth in the NWSL league standings.
The final road match of the spring campaign will take place on April 13th in Bossier City, La., against LSU. The Tigers claimed the 2018 SEC Tournament title after taking down Arkansas in penalties. Like the Red Raiders, they, too, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they were eliminated by No. 6 USC. The SEC was the number-two toughest conference in the nation by RPI last season – second only the Big 12.
The final game of the spring slate for Tech will take place in Lubbock against New Mexico. The Red Raiders downed the Lobos, 2-0, in last year’s home opener. UNM did not lose a match in the final month of the 2018 season, culminating in a 3-1 win over San Diego State for the Mountain West Conference championship.
Stone concluded his thoughts on the upcoming spring by emphasizing the importance of using every opportunity to improve –whether it be practices or games.
“It can be a time of year where you’re just dreaming of the fall because you love the season and you love the games,” he said. “But if you catch yourself doing that and you don’t put in the work in the spring, then you won’t get your team ready.”
March 2 – West Texas A&M (10:30 A.M.)
Abilene Christian (4:00 P.M.)
March 9 – at TCU (1:00 P.M.)
March 30 – at Houston Dash (2:00 P.M.)
April 13 – at LSU (3:00 P.M.)
April 20 – New Mexico (2:00 P.M.)