Sept. 1, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. - After a weekend split in Wisconsin, the Northwestern women's soccer team will head south to Texas for the second half of its season-opening four-game road trip. NU will battle Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Friday night in Lubbock, before heading to Waco on Sunday to take on Baylor at 1 p.m.
Both of this weekend's matches are part of the first annual Big Ten/Big XII Challenge, a competition created by conference coaches. A total of 16 squads, eight from each conference, will participate in the inaugural challenge. The winning conference will be determined by wins, losses and point differential.
In the program's 10-year history, NU has had limited experience against Big XII opponents. Friday night's matchup will be the Wildcats' first against the Red Raiders, while Sunday marks just the second match against Baylor. The two teams previously met in the second round of the 1998 NCAA Championships -- a 5-4 victory for the `Cats.
After scoring two goals in as many games last weekend, NU's offense will be looking to get on track this weekend. Texas Tech's conference-leading 37 fouls should allow plenty of free kick opportunities for goal-hungry Wildcat attackers. Texas Tech owns a 1-2 record after its 3-2-overtime victory against Sam Houston State. Last year's Red Raider squad finished 3-16 following a 14 match season-ending skid.
Baylor enters Sunday's match with a 1-1 record, coming off a 1-0 loss to Stephen F. Austin. The Bears' offense has been sluggish at season's start -- scoring only one goal, while leading the conference in offside calls with 11. Baylor has relied heavily on the play of senior midfielder Tiffany Boshers and sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Holder. Boshers' five shots per game ranks third in the Big XII. Holder ranks second in the conference with eight saves.