A record breaking crowd was in attendance at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium tonight as No. 8 TCU Soccer took down No. 9 Texas A&M 2-1 after a hard-fought 90 minutes to move to 2-0 on the season.
The atmosphere was absolutely nuts. Frog fans showed up and showed out for one of the biggest home matches in recent history.
“We were hopeful we would draw out a crowd playing a worthy opponent like A&M and I’m thankful,” said head coach Eric Bell. “We’re really blessed to have support like this. It doesn’t happen everywhere in the country and our players really appreciate it.”
If a sellout crowd was going to be at any home game, they sure picked a good one. This marks the first time since 1992 that TCU Soccer prevailed against the Aggies. In last year’s spring season Texas A&M was the only team to beat TCU in the regular season, and the Horned Frogs made all the right adjustments coming into tonight’s game.
The Frogs were dominant with possession all game and found success sending the ball out wide and stretching the field. A&M likes to play off the counterattack and coach Bell said he knew that outside backs Chaylyn Hubbard and Brandi Peterson were going to find success against the Aggies formation.
“They’re [Hubbard and Peterson] special players. Especially in the attack as far as outside backs are concerned and they give us a lot of attacking options out wide and they were great tonight,” said Bell.
Peterson wound up as the lone goal scorer for the Horned Frogs in this one after the first goal was marked as an own goal by A&M’s Taylor Pounds in the 11th minute. Although it was an own goal on the score sheets, don’t let that distract you from the fact that the Frogs had exceptional footwork and passing leading up to the chance on goal.
Brandi Peterson received a beautiful through ball from the middle and first-touch crossed it into the box where Messiah Bright would inevitably pressure the defender into misdirecting the ball. Regardless of how the ball went in the back of the net, we’ll take it.
The Horned Frogs second goal was a thing of beauty. In the 77th minute, Brandi Peterson sent in what appeared to be a cross, but would turn out to be a David Beckham like shot on goal as it curled over multiple defenders’ heads and past the keeper’s hands into the bottom right corner of the goal to put TCU up 2-0.
Gracie Brian and Oli Pena were both credited with the assist on Peterson’s goal.
The two-goal lead was short lived though as A&M entered desperation mode and ended up scoring a doozy of a goal in the 86th minute. The ball was bouncing around the Horned Frogs box before an Aggie eventually came away with the slow-rolling shot that snuck past Kinsey Ehmann in goal.
Despite conceding the first goal of the season, the Horned Frogs stayed strong and safely maintained their lead for the final five minutes without any heart-attack worthy moments.
The fans knew, the players knew, and the coaches definitely knew how important winning this game was. It’s not every day a top 10 team rolls into town and this type of win can do wonders for a team’s confidence going forward.
“This sets the tone for the rest of the season,” said senior defender Brandi Peterson. “We’re going to go into a lot of hard games, but going into these games with confidence and winning big games like this will keep our confidence going and growing throughout the season.”
Here’s to hoping this wave of confidence continues for TCU Soccer as they take on UTRGV next Sunday at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium at 1:00 p.m.
Now that we know we can pack 3,000 people in Garvey-Rosenthal (and also the fact that beer sales were approved), let’s do it every game!