Shut the front door, it is officially Beat the Aggie's this week at my house and hopefully yours too. It has been two years since we fans have been able to say that.
Lets look back last week in Round 1 of the NCAA Soccer Tournament as the Red Raiders trapped the Gophers in a home field advantage match winning 3-0. I will be the first to admit that I thought this might go to OT to win this one but happily Coach Stone had the ladies coached up and playing on fire. The ladies had the 17th shutout for the season. Jessica Fuston struck with the first in the 9th minute of play. Janine Beckie scored next with a shot from a deflected ball going 2-0 at half time. Janine Beckie took a shot and scored again in the 80th minute of play. I watched this game via game tracker and the team played so much better in this match then the Big 12 tournament. This team played the whole 90 minutes and it was a great team effort and a thing of beauty for those of us that love soccer. The ladies realize what is at stake and are playing lights out. You can view the video highlights and recap, courtesy of Texas Tech Soccer.
Second round action for the Red Raiders is set for Friday at 230 pm against the Aggies in Chapel Hill, NC. A look at the NCAA Soccer Bracket shows that the Aggies come in as the #4 seed for this side of the bracket. The ladies are excited to play against them as seen in the video recap above. The Aggie'c come into this match with a record of 18-4-1 and SEC champion. The Aggies also have a younger team with several Freshman and Sophomores that are in the starting line up. Key players that need to be defended include Fr. Forward Liz Keester and Jr. Forward Shea Groom, and our ladies will have to work around one of their better defenders of the team in Defender/Mid Meghan Straight. Some of our common opponents for this year included Baylor in which both TTU and A&M played to a draw and Arizona State with both teams winning over ASU. The Aggies did struggle in their first round NCAA match beating Utah 1-0 in OT to advance to the second round.
Aggies Head Coach G. Guerrieri had the following quote about our Red Raiders "On moving forward: We have a lot of respect for Texas Tech. We have a great record against them and it’s always been a good rivalry. Playing on a neutral field at Chapel Hill will be a really tough assignment. They don’t give up many goals, which is similar to what we just saw. We have a very tough draw; to win the SEC regular season and then the SEC tournament and come up as a number four seed in the same group as the defending national champions, we kind of did a bit of a double take. To play the third place team in the PAC 12 in the first round after that and we now have to play one of the top two or three teams in the Big 12, its quite a tall order. But it’s the NCAA tournament and they name of the game is ‘win and advance’. You get now extra goals for style points you just have to find a way to win and that’s what this team has been doing now. They are 13-1 in the last 14 games. They find different ways of winning, it’s not always like what Allie (Bailey) did, a lot of times its set up in different situations. There are a lot of special players on this team and it’s a group of players that have really come together. As we got into SEC play and as we got rolling this team has found a way to really come together as really strong unit. A lot of that you can point to our captains like Meghan (Streight) and Shea Groom and Rachel Lenz. Rachel was out because of some headaches but hopefully she will be back next time and that’s exciting for all of us." Credit to Aggie Athletics and you can read the whole transcript after the Aggies first round win.
This will be an exciting match and you can tune in and watch at GoHeels live. Heck its a Friday, watch it while you work. I know that Coach Stone will have them ready to play and this should be a competitive match. No predictions from me other then the Red Raiders should win this one.
The winner of the match will face off against the winner of the Indiana (15-8-1) vs #1 seed and #5 in the nation North Carolina (18-4-0) on Nov. 24th in Chapel Hill at 2 pm. I will update in comments as the second round plays out.
Have a great rest of the week and let's Wreck the Aggies on Friday!!!!