LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 18 Texas Tech soccer team returns to the John Walker Soccer Complex this weekend as the program gets set to host a pivotal three-game Big 12 homestand.
Tech (13-1-2, 3-0-2 Big 12) opens the stretch Friday night when the Red Raiders host Kansas in the squad's first home match since Oct. 6. First kick is set for 7 p.m.
The weekend concludes with a highly-anticipated showdown against No. 9 West Virginia Sunday at 6 p.m. The regular season finale then looms ahead on Nov. 1 when Texas pays a visit to the John Walker Soccer Complex.
"This is one of the biggest weekends we have hosted," Texas Tech head coach Tom Stone said. "We have three really good teams to finish the season."
The Red Raiders enter the week ranked in the top-20 in each of the four major college soccer polls while riding a program-best and Big 12-leading 12-match unbeaten streak.
The Red Raiders have shutout eight of their last 10 opponents while boasting one of the top defensive units in the country ranking in the Top-3 nationally in both goals-against average and shutout percentage.STORYLINES
TECH DEFENSE - TOPS IN THE NATION
With eight shutouts in the last 10 matches, the Red Raider defense has established itself as one of the top units in the nation. Tech enters this weekend ranked No. 3 nationally in goals-against average (0.362) and No. 2 in shutout percentage (.750). The Red Raiders have allowed just two goals in Big 12 play and have shutout 12 opponents this season.
TECH OFFENSE DOMINANT IN FIRST HALF
Not only has Texas Tech's defense put on a show, but the Red Raider offense has provided goal support - especially in the opening 45 minutes. Entering this weekend, the Red Raiders are shutting out opponents 20-0 in the first half. In Big 12 play, the Red Raiders have outscored opponents 4-0.
RED RAIDERS SHOW BALANCE ON OFFENSIVE END
The Texas Tech defense isn't the only part of the Red Raiders' play that has been impressive in 2013. The Texas Tech offense has showed impressive balance this season as 14 different Red Raiders have found the back of the net. But that's not all, 10 of those have scored at least twice and seven have scored three or more times. The scoring power is led by sophomore and 2012 All-American Janine Beckie who has scored a team-high six goals.
RED RAIDERS GO UNBEATEN AWAY FROM HOME
With Tech's scoreless draw against Baylor Oct. 13, the Red Raiders completed an unblemished 7-0-2 record away from home this season. The Red Raiders are the only Big 12 team this season to go unbeaten on the road this season. Meanwhile, Tech outscored opponents 13-2 in those matches.
ESSON AMONG TOP KEEPERS IN THE COUNTRY
Texas Tech senior Victoria Esson has established herself as one of the top goalkeepers in the country with her performance in 2013. Entering this weekend, Esson ranks No. 4 nationally with a .394 goals-against average through 16 matches. She has allowed just six goals against and just two goals in Big 12 play. The Christchurch, New Zealand native has already posted 12 shutouts -marking a single-season high for the all-time Texas Tech leader in the category.