Quest for the College Cup

Texas Tech begins their quest for the NCAA Women's College Cup on Friday, as they take on Minnesota at 7 p.m. at the Walker Soccer Complex.

The true test begins now for Tom Stone's Red Raider soccer team.

Texas Tech begins their quest for the NCAA Women's College Cup on Friday, as they take on Minnesota at 7 p.m. at the Walker Soccer Complex.

For the Red Raiders, this is their second tournament appearance; the first came last season and ended in a second-round defeat (in double-overtime) to Florida State. Tech finished second in the Big 12 this season and lost in the conference tournament to Oklahoma State.

Players to watch for Texas Tech include sophomore striker Janine Beckie, who notched nine goals in a breakout season; Victoria Esson, who owns the fourth-best goals against average (0.346) in the entire country; and the entire defensive back four, who have allowed seven goals in the entire 2012 season.

As for Minnesota, who finished sixth in the Big Ten and lost their lone conference tournament game to Illinois, the players to keep an eye on are leading scorers Haley Helverson, Simone Kolander and Katie Thyken, as well as the goalkeeping tandem of Kristen Knutson and Tara Hobbs, who have combined for a league-leading 124 saves.

The winner of Friday's game will play either Utah or Texas A&M on Nov. 22 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

A fact worth mentioning: Texas Tech is in the same region as North Carolina, the defending and 21-time national champions.

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