What. A. Game.
TCU Soccer has earned a spot in the Elite 8 for the first time in program history after beating the No. 13 seed Georgetown Hoyas in a penalty kick shootout 1-1 (3-1).
There was a looong lighting delay after the Hoyas converted their first penalty kick attempt, but as soon as play resumed Yazmeen Ryan equaled the score before Emily Alvarado went on to make three consecutive saves to seal the deal.
Usually penalty kicks are a stressful endeavor for everyone involved, but I’ve never felt more confident watching a PK shootout than I have when Emily Alvarado is in goal. She’s got ice in her veins.
“Emily was phenomenal, absolutely fantastic,” said head coach Eric Bell. “You couldn’t ask for a better performance than that.”
Unlike their second round matchup against New Mexico, the Horned Frogs were far from dominant in this contest, but the better team prevailed in the end.
As Eric Bell touched on in the pre-game presser, this was certainly a possession-first style of play we saw tonight from both teams. The game started slow with a lot of back and forths and no real opportunities on goal for either side. Through the first 20 minutes of the game, there had been only four combined shots with zero on target.
This slow pace of play would soon change as the Hoyas opened the scoring in the 31st minute after a generous deflection. Emily Alvarado made an incredible effort to save Georgetown’s original attempt on goal, but the ball ended up bouncing off the crossbar and fell perfectly in place for the Hoyas to convert. Right time, right place for the navy and grey.
Alvarado’s heroics continued later in the first half as she came up with a superhuman-like diving save to prevent the Frogs from facing a two goal deficit.
Alvarado went on to finish the night with six saves.
After the goal, Georgetown continued to pressure the Frogs nearly every chance they got which seemed to have TCU a bit shaken up. The back line was holding tough, but there was hardly anything generated offensively after going 1-0 down.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Georgetown is an incredibly disciplined, well coached team that held their shape well and maintained constant pressure on the Frogs’ forwards, hardly giving them a chance to retain possession in the attacking third.
As I said before, though, the better team prevailed.
Everything turned around for the Horned Frogs in the 77th minute as Michelle Slater found the equalizer off a beautiful assist from Yazmeen Ryan. I couldn’t possibly think of a better time for Slater to tally her first goal of the season. One word - CLUTCH.
The equalizing goal led to a HUGE shift in momentum. The Frogs brought a 13-5 shot deficit all the way back to 13-11 by the end of the second half.
Overtime was ironically less intense than the final 15 minutes of the game, as neither team was able to record a shot on goal until Georgetown recorded three in the first five minutes of double overtime, but nothing made it past Alvarado.
The Frogs went on to secure the win in a penalty kick shootout, and that was all she wrote.
TCU is now 12-1-2 on the season (PK wins count as ties I know it’s dumb) with an undefeated record of 3-0-1 in overtime games.
The Horned Frogs will look to continue their historic NCAA Tournament run when they take on the winner of Rice vs Virginia in the Elite 8 on May 9 at 4:00 p.m. CST.