The TCU Athletics season doesn’t start on September 1st, and when Football finally does take the field, they will have quite the standard to live up to, thanks to two teams that are rolling in 2018.
Both TCU Soccer and TCU Volleyball have started their seasons with near-perfect marks, combining to go 7-0-1 over the opening week of play.
The first Horned Frogs’ team to play in 2018 was Eric Bell’s soccer program, who kicked things off with a 1-0 victory over Alabama. They followed up that effort with wins over McNeese State (1-0) and SFA (4-0) to cap off a perfect start that saw them outshoot opponents 72-14, while goalkeepers Katie Lund and Emily Alvarado combined for nine saves without allowing a single goal.
On Sunday, TCU welcomed SMU from across the metroplex for a rivalry battle, one that saw the Frogs allow their first goals of the season but fight back from an early 2-0 deficit to tie things up. Though they couldn’t find the game winner in either OT despite a 19-9 shot advantage, they kept their record blemish free at 3-0-1.
After last year’s NCAA Tournament berth, expectations are high in Funky Town for the futballers, and they will have a strong crowd behind them, according to Coach Bell. “The crowd was fantastic. If they keep showing up like they did tonight (against Alabama), this is going to be a really tough place to play.” He also has a young crop of players that have contributed early for the Frogs. “This recruiting class is very talented, probably one of the best we’ve ever had. They are starting to get used to the playing level of college soccer, with the physicality, the speed of play and the demands that we have in regards to paying attention to detail. They are figuring it out faster than I thought they would and that’s allowing us to progress in a fashion to play beautiful soccer.”
The Frogs host Pitt on Thursday evening looking for their fourth win of the season.
Moving inside, Jill Kramer’s volleyball program is picking up right where they left off - with wins. The Frogs have dropped just a single set through four games, sweeping through the Cowtown Classic on their home floor with ease. TCU dispatched UAB 3-0, Green Bay 3-0, and SIUE 3-0, then continued their solid play in outlasting North Dakota 3-1 Sunday to wrap up a tournament championship.
Freshman Elan McCall announced herself over the weekend with a team-high 59 kills, edging out last year’s MVP Anna Walsh - who added 51 of her own. Grad transfer Lexi MacLean was a force defensively with 63 digs, nearly double what anyone else put up. TCU has five players averaging at least six blocks per game in the early going, and if their defense holds up, they have a chance to compete in the ultra-challenging Big 12 Conference. Kramer has recruited exceptionally well, and her efforts should be rewarded in 2018. A mix of gritty veterans and explosive freshmen give the Horned Frogs dark horse status in the conference, and a NCAA Tournament berth is not out of the question as a reasonable goal to set. It’s so far, so good, for Coach Kramer. “You have some super high expectations of yourself because you have been training really hard and then you don’t really know what to expect because you haven’t played other people a whole lot.”
Things get much tougher for the Horned Frogs though when they travel to Colorado to play in the Colorado State Tournament, where they will face Florida State, Cincinnati, and the Rams. They return to their home floor on September 6th when they host the Fight in the Fort, starting with SMU.
Be sure to check out both soccer and volleyball this fall, two of the most fun home crowd environments on campus.