The TCU women’s soccer team is returning nearly its entire starting lineup this fall, and with many experienced players back in the fold, Big 12 Conference coaches are expecting the Horned Frogs to compete at a high level in 2020.
League coaches recently voted TCU to finish third in the Big 12, the team’s highest preseason nod since 2012. The Horned Frogs are coming off a season where the women finished 11-8-3 overall and reached the NCAA Tournament under head coach Eric Bell, who will be gearing up for his ninth season at the helm.
Among the team’s returning starters is senior goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, who has started 36 games over the last two seasons and is currently a member of Mexico’s 2020 World Cup qualifying team. A two-time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 and former Big 12 All-Freshman Team honoree, Alvarado posted seven shutouts in 2019, ranking second in the conference. Alvarado also recorded 92 saves, the most among Big 12 goalkeepers this past season.
The Horned Frog defensive line will be headlined by returning starter Brandi Peterson and senior Tijana Duricek, who played the first eight games in 2019 before suffering a season-ending injury. Peterson, one of six TCU players to start all 22 games, logged over 2,000 minutes on the field. Senior Isabelle Juarez and sophomore Belerica Oquendo are also slated to return for the Horned Frogs in 2020.
Big congrats to Yazmeen Ryan and Messiah Bright on their selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team! It's the second straight season the duo has been honored by league coaches. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/eVN0o452ed— TCU Soccer (@TCUSoccer) August 6, 2020
In the midfield, TCU returns multiple upperclassmen including senior Yazmeen Ryan and junior Chaylyn Hubbard. Ryan, who has brought home First-Team All-Big 12 consideration in each of the last two seasons, finished second on the Horned Frogs with 23 points in 2019, scoring seven goals and adding nine assists, which tied the school record. Hubbard ranked fifth on the team in minutes played, compiling over 1,600 minutes on the field.
Sophomore Gracie Brian will be back after an excellent freshman campaign where she totaled 22 points behind nine goals and four assists. Brian, who was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, had five game-winning goals for the Horned Frogs and ranked sixth in the conference in goals scored. Senior Ariana Owens (season-ending injury) and junior Tatum Condrey (four points) are two more players who could step up in 2020.
Junior forward Messiah Bright will command the front line for the Horned Frogs after a phenomenal 2019 season in which she recorded 30 points, the most by any TCU woman since 2008, with 12 goals and six assists. A two-time First-Team All Big 12 player, Bright’s points and goals scored were each the third-most in a single season in program history.
Sophomore Grace Collins showed plenty of promise this past fall, totaling 14 points behind three goals and eight assists to earn All-Big 12 Freshman Team recognition. Junior Maddy Warren chipped in five points for the Horned Frogs this past season including two goals and one assist.
TCU added six freshmen to the program including goalkeepers Lauren Kellett and Summer Holt as well as Avery Barron, Abby Ogard, Olivia Hasler and Marz Akins. The Horned Frogs also added junior transfer Nicolette Lewis, who started 28 games at Pepperdine. Other notable returners to the 2020 roster are seniors Haley Mallion, Haley Birmingham, junior Payton Crews and sophomores Michelle Slater, Annika Vadset, and Lexie Wallace.