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TCU Soccer advances to Big 12 Tournament Final

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The Horned Frogs unbeaten run was extended to 10 and now they’ll look to secure both 2021 Big 12 titles.

Photo courtesy of @TCUSoccer on Twitter

TCU Soccer has the opportunity to sweep both the regular season title and Big 12 tournament title for the first time in program history after beating Texas Tech 3-0 in the semifinals.

After a relatively slow start to the tournament, going to PKs with 8-seed Iowa State, the Horned Frogs came out firing in this one. TCU had eight shots in the first half, two of which found the back of the net to give the Frogs a comfortable lead early on.

Messiah Bright opened up the scoring in the 11th minute with a sensational goal. After taking the long through ball from Jenna Winebrenner, Bright put on a masterclass in the box. She dribbled around two defenders and nutmegged one of them before sneaking a shot past the goalkeeper from a difficult angle.

From the moment this game kicked off, you could tell the Frogs were in control. An early first half goal was a nice change of pace from the Iowa State game, where total domination led to a big donut on the scoresheet.

The Frogs weren’t satisfied with just one though as 18 minutes later, Messiah Bright scored another one. Deciding whether the first goal or the second goal is more impressive is near impossible, so I’ll let you decide for yourself:

Excellent build up in the passing game by Oli Pena and Grace Collins to lead to this opportunity on goal, and of course an outstanding finish by Messiah.

The second of three total goals set a few milestones for the individuals and program as a whole. Those were the 11th and 12th goals of the season for Messiah Bright, and her FOURTH multi-goal game of the season to add to her now 34 total goals as a Horned Frog.

On the assisting end of it, Grace Collins recorded her team-best 9th assist of the season and 19th of her career. That ties Yazmeen Ryan’s single season assist record (9) set in 2019 and places her 3rd all-time at TCU in assists.

It was a fabulous first half from the Frogs, but if we’ve learned anything about college soccer this season; it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Texas Tech came out with a different energy in the second half. Although TCU was still in control of possession for the most part, Tech found success on the counter attack to get their first real chances of the game.

Big 12 Offensive Player of the year Kirsten Davis and the Red Raiders attack were no match for Goalkeeper of the Year Lauren Kellett and Defensive Player of the Year Brandi Peterson, the Frogs handled every chance Tech had with ease.

Lauren Kellett made two saves en route to her 10th clean sheet of the season and the Frogs 12th as a team.

Aside from the award winners, Jenna Winebrenner played a phenomenal game and truly held the backline together in a lot of moments. She had a couple potential goal-saving deflections and picked out long passes to help out the forwards.

Winebrenner was also the only Horned Frog to play all 90 minutes.

Despite the Red Raiders efforts, nothing could stop TCU on Thursday. The Frogs went on to score the dagger in the 80th minute.

Skylar Heinrich scored her second goal of the season for the Frogs off a cross sent in by Lauren Memoly. May not have been as fancy shmancy as the first couple scores for TCU, but a goal is a goal and Heinrich did a great job to convert the chance.

With a 3-0 win, this was certainly a different ball game than the Frogs’ regular season matchup with Texas Tech just one week before. In Lubbock, the tempo of the game was different. Both teams were going back and forth, struggling to find chances on goal until finally the Frogs got the game winner in the 85th minute.

Both games resulted in a win for the Frogs, but they had tremendously different feels to the game.

“The surface was a big difference for us. We got a chance to play on grass today which I think suits us better. We were able to knock the ball around, change the point of attack and get Messiah into really good spots to do her thing. We had a really professional approach in the first half. I’m happy with the result,” said Head Coach Eric Bell on the difference between the first and second game against Tech.

Whether it’s a slow-paced 1-0 win or a dominant 3-0 offensive showcase, a win is a win and the Frogs are through to the Big 12 tournament final for the 5th time in program history (2012, 2016, 2017, 2019).

TCU will look to acquire yet another trophy this Sunday as they take on 2-seed Texas. Last time these teams met was in Austin where the game finished as a 1-1 draw through both overtime periods.

In case you aren’t making the trip down to Round Rock, kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, Nov 7 and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU. See you at the ‘ship!