No. 24 Red Raiders Host Rams in home opener

No. 24 Red Raiders Host Rams in home opener

Following a 1-0 win against the New Mexico Lobos on Friday in Albuquerque, the Red Raiders return home to open the home portion of their 2013 schedule against the Colorado State Rams.

There is a new program in town.

           

The Colorado State Rams soccer team is in the midst of their first season as a program. The No.24 Texas Tech Red Raiders will be their first Division One opponent ever when the two teams square off at the John B. Walker Soccer Complex in Lubbock at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tech soccer Head Coach Tom Stone said he knows of a way to scout how the new program may play.

           

"There's no film on this team. The only film you have is to watch all the old Colorado teams," Stone said. "Because the coach at CSU used to be the old Colorado coach."

 

There may be a lack of film, but that does not worry Stone. Stone said the best way to defeat the Rams is for Tech to worry about themselves.

 

He mentioned if there is something threatening during any game, then the Red Raiders will have to adjust.

           

It is not unusual for a new program to be young. The Rams have 10 freshman and six sophomores. The highest classification on the team is juniors.

 

Building a new program is not a new thing for Colorado State Head Coach Bill Hempen. After coaching Tech Head Coach Tom Stone and the Duke men's team in the 80s, a women's program was created and the university selected Hempen to his first college head coaching job. Five years into Duke women's soccer history, the team was in the national championship.

 

If Hempen were to coach somebody off guard with their young talent, it won't be the Red Raiders. Stone mentioned in an interview with Texas Tech TV's Brandon Rawe that Hempen was in his wedding. The two know each other very well and should make this a fun, but competitive match.

 

Both sides enter the game 1-0, Colorado State winning the programs first ever game against Lubbock Christian 3-0 at the John B. Walker Soccer Complex on Friday.

 

The Rams look to be a high-powered offense with sophomore forwards Jessica Stauffer and Erika Bratschun leading the attack. The first goal in Rams history was scored on a rebound by freshman midfielder Carly Seib.

 

The Rams defense notched a shutout over Lubbock Christian, but freshman goalkeeper Elena Eidson will have to take on the task of a Red Raider offense that averaged two goals per game in 2012 and outscored opponents 46-23.

 

The 2013 Red Raiders return eight starters including goalkeeper Victoria Esson, who notched her fifteenth career shutout Friday in Tech's 1-0 victory over the New Mexico Lobos.

 

Tech outshot the Lobos 18-4 with nine shots on goal. The Lobos have been a successful team in the Mountain West in the past three season making two NCAA Tournament appearances. They are known for their stout defense, something Tech was able to break through for many opportunities.

 

The game-winning goal came from Miss Clutch, Jessica Disabella, who has scored eight times in her career; five of the eight goals have been game winners. Friday's winner came with less than five minutes in the game.

 

Tech played in Albuquerque without Janine Beckie or Jessica Fuston. Beckie did not make the trip for precautionary reasons due to an ankle injury.

 

Not only will the Red Raiders have the experience on their side, but also it is sure to be noisy in the Walker Soccer Complex. Sunday marks the home season opener for Texas Tech and Texas Tech football Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played quarterback for Tech from 1999-2002, will be on hand for the First Kick.

 

Coach Stone said the fans would not be the only ones happy to be in Lubbock.

 

"Yeah, we get excited anytime we get to play at home," Stone said.

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