Despite having an extra week off due to COVID-19 postponements, the TCU soccer team got the job done at home against Iowa State last Friday, winning 1-0. This marks the third consecutive clean sheet for TCU as well as their second straight victory, giving the Frogs a 2-0-1 overall record on the season.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Horned Frogs didn’t allow a goal all season the way the defense is looking through three games!
The Horned Frogs were bringing the heat in the first half dominating the stat sheet with 15 shots and 6 corner kicks compared to Iowa State’s 3 shots and 0 corners. The second half was a different story though as Iowa State racked up 9 shots compared to TCU’s 3, though nothing got past veteran goalkeeper Emily Alvarado. As Coach Eric Bell would say, the Frogs didn’t “bring the juice” in the second half.
“Since day one, our defense has been extremely sharp,” said TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado. “We have a lot of experience on the back line, everyone is super locked in and super comfortable with each other.”
Alvarado praised her freshman teammate Marz Akins for stepping in and playing her role excellently.
Coach Eric Bell also had high praises for the freshman, “Marz is getting better with each game, she does a really good job at winning balls in the air for us as well as protecting the space in front of the back line,” said Bell.
Not only has the defense been playing at a high level, the Horned Frogs have also looked to be in sync when on the attack. Even though TCU ended with 18 shots (5 on goal), only one managed to find the back of the net. The lone goal last Friday came from a penalty kick scored by senior midfielder Yazmeen Ryan, who drew the penalty for the Frogs as well.
The Horned Frogs were dangerous in the final third all night long.
Especially in the first half, it seemed like the Horned Frogs were sending crosses from out wide into the box at will. Cross after cross, the Frogs had numerous chances to head the ball in though nothing found its way into the goal.
The Horned Frogs game plan last Friday was to get the ball out wide as much as possible, said midfielder Yazmeen Ryan.
“We knew we would have a lot of space out wide and our wingers do an excellent job of getting the ball into the box so we got the ball there whenever we could,” said Ryan.
The Horned Frogs also seemed to have multiple opportunities taken away from them due to the referees habit of letting things slide. By “things” I mean A LOT of things. For instance, there were multiple occasions where the entire TCU team was calling for a handball but got waved off by the ref.
“It’s really frustrating but it’s something we aren’t able to control,” said Ryan. “We have to keep our head in the game and not allow the ref to dictate the game.”
The Horned Frogs stuck to their tactics, and were able to create loads of chances.
In her first game back on the field this season, forward Messiah Bright seemed to be all over the field creating chances left and right. Coach Bell expressed his gratitude on having such an extraordinary player back in the lineup.
“She is a wonderful talent, and as the season goes on I’d expect her to get better and better just as she did last year and the year before that,” said Bell.
Albeit Iowa State is unranked, this was a great win for the Horned Frogs to keep the ball rolling this year. In a conference-only schedule with just 9 games, each game is just as important as the last.
“This win gives us a lot of motivation moving forward, we are ready for Oklahoma State on Friday,” said Alvarado.
The Horned Frogs soccer team will look to continue their hot start to the year this Friday as they take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater at 7 p.m.