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TCU Soccer advances to Big 12 Tournament Semifinals

After a scoreless regular time and overtime, the Frogs got the job done in PKs and are on to the next round.

Photo courtesy of @TCUSoccer on Twitter

TCU Soccer advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship Tournament with a penalty kick shootout win over 8-seed Iowa State.

Although it was an exciting finish to the game, both regular time and overtime finished in a 0-0 standstill despite the Horned Frogs’ 19 shot attempts.

In the regular season meeting with Iowa State just two weeks ago, the Horned Frogs put on an offensive showcase with three first-half goals and 26 total shots (16 on target). This time around, the Cyclones made some necessary adjustments and had a packed back line.

Despite the positive result, this was somewhat of a frustrating game for the Horned Frogs. Throughout regular time and both overtime periods, TCU was dominating possession and barely let the ball leave their attacking third but never found the back of the net.

There were multiple chances on goal that ended up inches away from being a game-winning shot, yet it still came down to penalty kicks. There were a few shining moments here and there, but the real intensity began with the PK shootout.

Watching the game end 0-0, I couldn’t help but think of what a bummer it would have been to go out in PKs after dominating the entire game. There is always room for nerves in soccer, but I was silly to worry about the Frogs in the clutch.

After a couple of misses and a couple of makes by both teams in the PK shootout, it all came down to the fifth and final shot. Tied 2-2, Iowa State was up first and missed their final attempt (excluding sudden death).

The pressure was on for the Frogs. Make the shot, and you’re through to the semifinals. Miss the shot, and you’re in sudden death PK’s with the lowest seed in the tournament. Brandi Peterson walked up to the spot cool as a cucumber and converted the Frogs final PK attempt to give them a 3-2 advantage.

I can’t tell what I love more, the fact that the Frogs won the game or Coach Bell’s post-game reaction. After Peterson converted the shot to win the game, the ESPN broadcast crew asked Bell the reasoning behind his selection of Brandi Peterson for the final PK. His response: “She’s got ice in her veins.” I love it.

TCU now has a 5-2 record all-time in Big 12 tournament penalty shootouts and this win continues the Horned Frogs’ now NINE game unbeaten streak, dating back to the 1-1 tie vs UT on Sept. 30.

“I’m happy to still be playing in the Big 12 Tournament. Iowa State did a really good job making it hard for us. I have a lot of respect for their staff and what they did. I’m proud of our group for staying with it and seeing the game out the way we did. I thought we played well. We weren’t able to find the goal, but we created some good chances. Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and prepare us for the rest of the tournament,: said Bell.

The Frogs’ winning streak wasn’t the only record extended as Lauren Kellett set a program record with NINE shutouts on the season, a record once held by TCU great Emily Alvarado.

“I’m proud of Lauren and the season that she’s had,” said Bell. “She has been amazing and the people playing in front of her have been amazing as well. Hopefully we can keep it going the rest of the postseason.”

The now back-to-back regular season Big 12 champions will look to continue their tournament run in the semifinals against 5-seed Texas Tech. The Red Raiders also advanced through the first round by way of PKs against 4-seed Oklahoma State.

Kickoff is slated for Thursday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcasted on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. If the Frogs come out on top against Tech, they’ll play the winner of Texas vs West Virginia in the tournament championship this Sunday, Nov. 7.