TCU women’s soccer is back this week as they begin their shortened conference-only campaign in Waco taking on the Baylor Bears.
Head Coach Eric Bell met with the media on Tuesday giving his insights on the upcoming season. Overall, you could tell coach is excited about his team’s potential for this years high-stakes schedule.
“Every game in college soccer is important and this year will be no different,” said Bell. “There are only nine games this year so every game will be like the Super Bowl.”
Bell stressed the importance of staying healthy throughout the year. Due to the altered schedule, the Horned Frogs were able to ease into their routine rather than fitting an abundance of workouts into a 2-week period like a traditional season. The team trained once a day for four times a week to get into the rhythm of things. This extended preseason opened up opportunities for the younger players to get more reps compared to a traditional preseason.
“It’s rare to have a preseason where you can really dial in on certain things and you can take your time and do things the right way by not setting up your players for injury,” said Bell.
Typically the Frogs would be able to scrimmage against other schools in the preseason though COVID-19 restrictions would not allow it this year. The team has only been able scrimmage itself in practices which is a bit of a concern, though everyone else is in the same boat.
The Horned Frogs appear to be destined for another great year as they return the majority of last year’s team that finished 11-8-3 earning an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
One of the keys to victory this year comes from the unit’s veteran experience. The Horned Frogs return highly rated senior goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, two-time All-Big 12 midfielder Yazmeen Ryan, and defending Most Outstanding Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Messiah Bright, among many others. Coach Bell explained that the veteran leadership on the team has helped the teams 6 freshmen develop tremendously during the preseason.
Coach Bell spoke highly of his veteran players stating that Yazmeen Ryan is “the best if not one of the best players in our league,” and that Messiah Bright “has the ability to change the game with her pace and athleticism.”
The Horned Frogs were picked to finish third in the Big 12 by league coaches. As long as the Frogs can stay healthy this season and COVID-19 holds off, expect some great things from TCU women’s soccer this year.