The No. 5 seed Texas Tech soccer team is set to take on the No. 1 seed Baylor Bears in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Championship Tournament at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.
In the first round of the conference playoffs, Tech knocked off the No. 4 seed Texas Christian University Horned Frogs by way of penalty kicks, according to Tech Athletics. Tech netted all five of its penalty kicks to secure the postseason victory and push its season record with TCU to 1-1.
The Red Raiders out-shot the Horned Frogs throughout the match, notching five shots on goal compared to TCU’s four, according to Tech Athletics. Each team was given 14 penalties on the night.
“It was a great college soccer game,” Tech coach Tom Stone said of the match against the Horned Frogs. “TCU has had a phenomenal year, and we have a lot of respect for those guys. It’s not surprising that it went 0-0.”
Baylor visited Lubbock earlier in the season, defeating the Red Raiders by a score of 2-0, according to Tech Athletics. Furthermore, Baylor finished atop the Big 12 to secure the conference title while leading the league in several statistical categories.
“We’re going up against the team that won our conference,” Stone said. “We know what that means, and we know what it’ll take to be victorious, which is everything we’ve got. The good news about our team is we’re not afraid to put forth that kind of effort.”
The Bears ended with a final regular season record of 16-4, along with a leading conference- record of 8-1, according to Tech Athletics. Baylor’s only Big 12 loss came against the University of Texas, losing in Austin, 2-1. To advance to the semifinals, the Bears snagged a 3-0 victory over No. 8 seed Iowa State University in round one.
On the opposite side of the playoff bracket, No. 2 seed West Virginia is set to take on the No. 3 seed Texas Longhorns in the semifinal round at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Kansas City, Missouri, according to Tech Athletics. The winner between Texas and West Virginia will receive a berth to the title match.
The Red Raiders will be presented with tough competition as they navigate through the tournament, but Tech is adequately equipped for the challenge with multiple dynamic players. Coming just days before Tech’s rematch with Baylor, freshman defender Cassandra Hiatt was listed to the Big 12 All-Freshman team, according to Tech Athletics.
“We are thrilled that Cassie has been recognized as an outstanding freshman amidst so many quality freshmen in the Big 12,” Stone said. “She joins a long list of Red Raiders that have been selected to the Big 12 All-Freshman team.”
Hiatt has held down the four slot in a stacked backfield of three Red Raider seniors, playing in all 19 matches at the position, according to Tech Athletics.
“She responded extremely well to the demands here at Texas Tech, so we had no hesitation to start this freshman in the back line with three other seniors” Stone said. “This collective group of outstanding defenders has shut out six Big 12 teams this year.”
Hiatt earned herself Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors for the week of Oct. 15, after heading in the game-tying goal against the Kansas Jayhawks to force overtime, according to Tech Athletics. Hiatt also helped lead Tech to a conference-leading 11 shutouts as a defender and nabbed three goals on the offensive side of the ball throughout the season.
Hiatt and the Red Raiders are hoping to shut down the No. 1 seed Baylor Bears during the second round of the tournament. If successful, Tech will compete against WVU or UT in the final round of the Big 12 Championship at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas, City Missouri, with the game being broadcast live on FS1.