This season, the Texas Tech soccer team has 10 freshmen on the roster as they start their collegiate careers as Red Raiders.
Six games into the season, four of Tech’s 15 goals were made by this year’s freshmen class, with two of those goals coming from freshman defender Hannah Anderson, according to Tech Athletics. The freshman scored her first goal in Tech’s game against Oral Roberts and added her second goal of the season against Abilene Christian.
“With Hannah (Anderson’s) technique, she can hang in the air,” head coach Tom Stone said. “This is a kid that in recruiting we were like not only is she super skillful, but she is big time in the air, so it was great to see her score.”
Freshman midfielder Penelope Mulenga started in the first game of her collegiate career against North Texas, according to Tech Athletics. In her 250 minutes of playing time this season, Mulenga has recorded five shot attempts and one shot on goal.
“The beauty of this team is if they are working hard enough, they deserve to play, and when we get the opportunity to play them, they are producing,” Stone said after the Red Raiders’ game against North Texas. “We subbed and we scored. We subbed, and we scored.”
Also, in Tech’s game against North Texas, freshman forward Macy Shultz scored the first goal of the night in the second half. Shultz’s goal was the first of her collegiate career which put Tech up 1-0, giving the Red Raiders their first advantage of the game.
Associate head coach Gibbs Keeton said that every year the team changes and this year, they have assets that help them succeed.
“Our biggest assets right now are the depth of the team this is the deepest we have ever been and the most talented we have ever been,” Keeton said. “That allows us to use our big roster and allows our levels not to drop whenever we sub. And really, the practices have been so good which is a big function of improvement as everybody knows, the better we train them the better they are.”
Another freshman scored her first goal as a Red Raider as freshman defender Marisa Weichel scored within minutes after being subbed into the North Texas game. Weichel’s goal came off of her first collegiate touch.
“Marissa one-touch wonder,” senior defender Savanna Jones said. “She comes in and taps it one time and it’s a goal.”
Both freshman midfielders Haley Smith and Nicole Mettam have one attempted shot this season, according to Tech Athletics.
This year, 10 freshmen have contributed to the team throughout the season, according to Tech Athletics. Tech has recorded three straight shut outs at home. With this year’s freshman class, Jones said they hope to continue shutting teams out.
“They are so much fun to play with, to be with,” Jones said. “They have really helped us a lot and especially now, we really need them to step up.”