(Texas Tech Press Release)
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech soccer program will kick off the 2014 season ranked 17th in the preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll that was announced Wednesday afternoon.
This is the highest preseason ranking ever for the Red Raiders, who opened the 2013 campaign ranked 24th before eventually ending the year at No. 17 overall. Tech was ranked for all but one week a year ago, rising as high as 11th late in the regular season.
The Red Raiders are coming off an impressive 18-2-3 campaign in 2013 that resulted in a second-straight trip to the second round of the NCAA Championship. Tech returns 20 letterwinners and seven starters from that squad that set the single-season school record for victories.
Tech was one of two Big 12 Conference programs in the top-25 poll, joining West Virginia which was five spots ahead of the Red Raiders at No. 12 overall. Fellow conference foe Oklahoma State also picked up a pair of votes as well.
The Red Raiders will face two ranked non-conference opponents early in the season in No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 25 Denver. Tech and Denver will be meeting Aug. 16 in an exhibition match for the second-straight season.
Tech travels to battle the Fighting Irish on Aug. 29 to open the Notre Dame Invitational. The Red Raiders will also face a California squad on the road that is also receiving votes in the preseason poll. That match is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start on Sept. 12 on the Pac-12 Network.
Tech officially opens the 2014 season on Aug. 22, hosting New Mexico in a 7 p.m. start at the John Walker Soccer Complex.