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Lobo soccer women open season Friday at Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, Texas — The University of New Mexico women’s soccer team begins the 2018 season with quite the test Friday at Texas Tech. Kickoff is 6:15 p.m.

The game begins the fourth season for Lobos coach Heather Dyche, who led UNM to a 12-8-2 record and within a win of the NCAA Tournament last season. Her overall record of 31-23-7 is the best among any Lobos coach after three seasons.

What Dyche hasn’t done so far is lead the Lobos to a 1-0 start. In fact, UNM’s last season opening win came on Aug. 20, 2010, when the Lobos beat Montana 7-0. Since then they have gone 0-5-2 in openers, losing the last five.

Texas Tech leads the series between the two schools 5-4-1. Both teams are coming off exhibition victories, with the Lobos defeating CSU Pueblo 7-0 and Texas Tech defeating Denver 1-0.

The Lobos enter the match with four returning starters. Several players, including Jessica Nelson, weren’t starters in 2017 but played significant minutes.

In goal for UNM, Emily Johnson played every minute last year with a 1.32 goals against and six shutouts.

Each team enters with a proven goal scorer. For the Lobos, Jessie Hix had eight goals a year ago and two in the opening exhibition game. Tech counters with Ally Griffin, who had six goals and an assist a year ago.

After today, UNM next plays two matches at home — Aug. 24 against San Francisco at 5 p.m. and Aug. 26 against Idaho State at 1 p.m.