ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Fresh off an undefeated spring season and a 2-0 exhibition victory at Denver last week, the 2023 Texas Tech women’s soccer program opens the 2023 season on Thursday night at the University of New Mexico.
First kick from the UNM Soccer Complex is set for 8:30 p.m. (CT), and fans can catch all of the action live on the Mountain West Digital Network.
The Red Raiders enter the 2023 season boasting a strong returning core led by Madison White, Kylie Bahr, Hannah Anderson and Ashleigh Williams.
Coach Tom Stone also turned to the portal for a pair of key additions when he signed Vanderbilt transfer Alex Kerr and 2021 Southland Conference Player of the Year Oliva Draguicevich from Northwestern State. The two key newcomers will join forces with key freshmen Storie Sexton and Sam Courtwright.
A First Team All-Big 12 selection a year ago, Anderson was tabbed to the Big 12 Preseason All-Conference team last week and was also selected to the United Soccer Coaches Association Defenders to Watch List.
After a strong freshman campaign that earned her both Big 12 Freshman honors as well as an invite to the USWNT U-19 camp, Bahr returns for her second season in 2023.
A Third Team All-Big 12 selection, Bahr was one of eight Red Raiders to appear in all 19 matches a season ago. The Colorado native played all 90 minutes in 10 matches after logging an impressive 1,557 minutes on the season.
Tech’s third key returner, Williams, returns for her third season with the Scarlett and Black. Williams recorded a strong 2022 campaign that saw the Texan score a team-best nine goals, six of which came against Big 12 foes. Williams’ six Big 12 goals were the most by a player in conference play and earned the Allen native Second Team All-Big 12 honors.
After a strong eight goal season in 2021, Williams has now found the back of the net 17 times in her 39 matches as a Red Raider.
A key component to Tech’s defense, White returns for her fifth and final season at Tech already with her name etched all over the record books.
The Texan has already recorded two of the 10 lowest single-season goals-against averages in program history and has the fourth and sixth-most shutouts in a single-season in program history.
White enters her final campaign fourth all-time in goals-against average (0.87), second in all-time clean sheets (26) and sixth in saves (193).
Through the additions of both Kerr (12 career goals) and Draguicevich (37 career goals), Tech also improved its depth at the top.
A transfer from Vanderbilt, Kerr arrives in Lubbock playing some of the best soccer of her career. During the 2022 season, Kerr set new career-highs in: games played (21), starts (20), goals (6), shots (26) and minutes played (925).
She helped lead the Commodores to an impressive 12-5-4 record and the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tech’s second key addition to attack, Draguicevich, also arrives in Lubbock playing the best soccer of her career. The Pflugerville native won back-to-back Southland Conference Forward of the Year Awards and was named the 2021 Southland Conference Player of the Year, after scoring a combined 26 goals the last two seasons. Draguicevich left NSU as the all-time leading scorer in Lady Demons history.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
MATCHUP: Texas Tech (0-0) at New Mexico (0-0)
DATE: Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023
LOCATION: UNM Soccer Complex (Albuquerque, N.M.)
TV: Mountain West Sports Network
BEHIND ENEMY LINES (SCOUTING NEW MEXICO):
• Picked third in the Preseason Mountain West Poll UNM figures to be formidable once again in 2023. After going 7-3-9 in 2022 and winning the Regular Season Mountain West title, UNM will need to replace its two leading scorers from a season ago: Jadyn Edwards and Leilani Baker. Edwards scored eight goals and tallied four assists while Baker added seven goals and three helpers. The duo combined for 15 of UNMs 26 goals and 37 of the Lobos 73 points.
• The cupboard is far from bare for ninth year head coach Heather Dyche, as the Lobos return seven starts highlighted by keeper Alli Davis and defender Myah Isais. Davis ended the 2022 campaign on a 602 minute scoreless streak, after allowing just 13 goals in 19 matches played. Also returning for Dyche and Lobos is local product Zaria Katesigwa. A native of Albuquerque, Katesigwa scored three times in 2022, and is the Lobos leading returning scorer from a season ago.
The Red Raiders open a five-match homestand on Sunday night when the Aggies of New Mexico State visit the John Walker Soccer Complex. First kick is set for 7 p.m.
Release provided by Andrew Stern Texas Tech Athletics