The TCU women’s soccer team, one year after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, seems to be heading that direction again.
The Frogs opened up the season in dominating fashion at home, defeating UL Monroe and UTSA 5-0 in both games. Due to their impressive efforts, a pair of TCU players, junior McKenzie Oliver and freshman Natalee Heiser, won the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors, respectively.
For their next game, TCU headed to the Centennial State to face Colorado. The Frogs came up just short, losing 1-0 despite outshooting the Buffaloes 14-7. However, TCU would quickly bounce back winning their next three matches - at Northern Colorado, at home vs. Ball State, and at home vs. Missouri - each 2-1.
The victory over Missouri was particularly exciting as senior Emma Heckendorn earned a penalty kick with just under two minutes to go in the second overtime period and senior Allison Ganter tucked it away to defeat the Tigers. On that weekend, Ganter had three goals and an assist, earning her the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honor.
Unfortunately, TCU would drop their next two games, losing to Northeastern 2-1 at home and falling to SMU 1-0 in Dallas. However, the Frogs did manage to close out non-conference play strong by defeating Stephen F. Austin 4-0 on the road to create momentum going into Big 12 play.
Through four Big 12 games so far, TCU already has three wins, more than they have had in any regular season since joining the conference. The Frogs opened up conference play in a thriller in Fort Worth, taking down Kansas 1-0 after sophomore Tara Smith scored the game-winning goal just past the halfway point of the second overtime. TCU followed that game up by defeating Kansas State, which is in their first full season as a program, 1-0 at home.
The Frogs saw their three-game winning streak snapped this past Friday at home, losing to Oklahoma State 2-0 despite outshooting them 9-4. It was a scoreless game until the final 12 minutes when the Cowgirls, who were ranked No. 19 in last week’s United Soccer Coaches poll, managed to get on the scoreboard. However, TCU bounced back by earning a 1-0 victory in Lubbock to improve to 3-0 in overtime games this season.
TCU continues conference play this weekend with a massive match in Austin against the Longhorns, who are undefeated on the season at 11-0-1 and were ranked No. 8 in last week’s poll. Texas is 3-0-1 in Big 12 play, but the Frogs will be hoping to give them their first loss of the year. It will be TCU’s only game this weekend and will be televised live on Longhorn Network at 7:00pm on Friday.
Looking toward the postseason, TCU fans should have high hopes thanks to this strong start in Big 12 play. Currently, the Frogs are sitting at No. 62 in the RPI, meaning they still have some work to do to climb into the top 40 or 50. With the way they are playing right now though, that certainly seems well within reach.