Horned Frogs set to open regular season on Friday
Aug. 23, 2006
FORT WORTH, Texas - With a little over two weeks of practice complete, the TCU soccer team kicks off the 2006 regular season on Friday at 7 p.m., when Rice visits Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.
In this the 21st season of TCU soccer, Friday's game will match the earliest start to a season in the history of the program. Friday's early start matches the 2000 season when the Horned Frogs defeated Houston 1-0 on the road. After blanking Texas Tech 4-0 in the 2005 season opener, the Horned will look to win its second opener in a row against the Owls.
"Rice is a very good team," head coach Dan Abdalla said. "The game will be a great measuring stick as to where we are at as a team. Rice is always very organized and we need to be ready to match their enthusiasm."
The Owls return nine of 11 starters from last year's team that finished 13-7-1 overall and 6-2-1 in C-USA. After finishing second in C-USA, the Owls qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning the C-USA Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, Rice fell to No. 6 California, 2-0, in the first round.
Last year, the Horned Frogs and Owls were scheduled to play at Rice on Sept. 23, but the game was canceled because of Hurricane Rita. The Horned Frogs lead the all-time series with Rice, 2-1-1, and have won two of three matches in Fort Worth.
Friday's game will also mark the first regular season game under the newly installed lights at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.
The Horned Frogs enter the regular season on a strong note, having defeated Stephen F. Austin, 2-1, in the final exhibition match on Aug 19.
Tickets to Friday's match are $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum ticket office.
Following Friday's game, TCU will hit the road to face Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Horned Frogs and Red Raiders will be meeting for the fourth straight year, with TCU defeating Texas Tech each of the last three seasons.
In all, TCU is 9-2-2 all-time against Texas Tech and has won the last six meetings, including three overtime matches. The Horned Frogs are 4-1-1 all-time on the road in Lubbock.
Texas Tech returns eight players from a year ago and welcome 16 newcomers into the mix. Texas Tech is coached by second-year head coach Neil McGuire, who guided the Red Raiders to a 1-18 mark in 2005.
Prior to facing TCU, the Red Raiders will open the season on the road at Texas-San Antonio on Friday at 7 p.m.
"We don't know a lot about Texas Tech," Abdalla said. "They have 15 freshmen, so they are a very young team. Neil McGuire always does a great job of getting his teams prepared. All of his teams are very hard working and dangerous. It will definitely be a good test for our team on the road."
After getting through two weeks of practice and two exhibition matches, Abdalla is happy with what the team got out of the exhibition matches.
"I think they were great for our team, especially with as many new players as we have," Abdalla said. "It was a great opportunity to get the newcomers accustomed to our system. I think we are about 50 percent toward where we need to be, but the team has shown great ability. Our goal is to continue to get better everyday."