TCU Soccer’s Big 12 championship hopes are alive and well after picking up a crucial 1-0 win on the road against No. 14 West Virginia.
For the first time in program history, the Frogs beat West Virginia in Morgantown (0-4 before tonight) and have now won two consecutive meetings against the Mountaineers. TCU are now 3-1 against top 25 opponents this season.
FROGS WIN!!— TCU Soccer (@TCUSoccer) October 15, 2021
TCU takes down #14 West Virginia in Morgantown for its third win over a top 25 team this season. Oli Pena gets the lone tally for the Frogs and Lauren Kellett makes four saves for her third straight shutout.#GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/ANwE3BxJtD
This wasn’t the typical offensive onslaught we have grown accustomed to from the Frogs. The Mountaineers were disciplined in the back and did a great job at limiting TCU’s chances on goal.
After averaging 18.7 shots per game up until this point in the season, West Virginia held TCU to just two shots and zero shots on goal in the first half. Despite not having the numbers to show for it on the scoresheets, the Frogs were looking dangerous closer to the halftime whistle.
They weren’t able to get off a lot of shots, but the Frogs did an excellent job of staying patient, playing the ball out of the back, and waiting for the right passes to open up. There was only one real moment of worry in the first half as West Virginia had a shot from distance doink off the crossbar and out of the danger zone.
Other than that, Lauren Kellett and the Frogs’ back line had the defensive third locked down. The Mountaineers only chances on goal came from shots fired at least 20+ yards away from the goal, but Kellett was still tested.
The sophomore goalkeeper finished the night with 4 saves en route to her seventh shutout of the season.
Aside from a few moments of hope here and there, nothing substantial broke through for either side until the second half. Despite finishing the night with only two shots on target, the Frogs make ‘em when it counts.
In the 77th minute, freshman midfielder Oli Pena scored the game-winning goal off a chaotic corner kick. The West Virginia keeper had been coming high off her line all night on the corner kick, and Pena punished her for it. There was an awkward deflection inside the box as the keeper went to punch it away, but Pena was in the right place at the right time to put it away.
You couldn’t have asked for better timing on Pena’s second goal of her career.
With this win, TCU will move to third place in the Big 12 standings with a 4-1-1 conference record, behind only Texas (4-0-1) and Baylor (3-1-1). The Frogs still have three games — Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas State — remaining on their conference schedule, and a regular season championship is certainly within their reach.
The push for back-to-back Big 12 titles continues this Sunday as the Frogs take on Iowa State in Ames. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.