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TCU Soccer improves to 3-0 with dominant win over UTRGV

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The Horned Frogs are outscoring their opponents 15-1 through three games this season.

Photo courtesy of @TCUSoccer on Twitter

TCU Soccer continues their hot start to the 2021 season with a dominant 6-0 win over UTRGV despite a 70-minute long weather delay at the half.

Just three games into the year and the Horned Frogs have outscored their opponents with an aggregate total of 15-1. Is that good? That seems pretty good.

After a full week off since the win over Texas A&M , the Frogs appeared to be itching for goals as it took Grace Collins less than four minutes of game time to find the back of the net. Just 13 minutes later, the former Big 12 Offensive Player of the year assisted Gracie Brian to give the Frogs a two goal lead.

TCU was slicing through the Vaqueros swiss-cheese like defense for the first 45 and dominated the first half shot count 16-1 (34-2 on the day). Regardless if they are winning by 17 or by 2, a lead is a lead and the Horned Frogs’ chemistry was in full stride early in this one.

Despite dominating in nearly every way, shape, fashion, and form in the first half, the Frogs would encounter a slight bump in the road as Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium was hit with a lightning delay just in time for halftime.

What was originally slated to be a 30-minute safety precaution turned into a full on 70-minute stoppage. If you remember anything about TCU Soccer’s last mid-game lightning delay, the Frogs came out and played better than anyone could have hoped for, and that’s exactly what they did today against UTRGV.

Sure, saving two shots in a penalty kick shootout with a trip to the Elite 8 on the line might be a tad bit different than a regular season home match against an unranked opponent, but the principle remains. An hour+ delay would be a perfect opportunity for the team to relax and relish in their first half success, but that’s not the Eric Bell led TCU Soccer way.

The Frogs came to play in the second half putting away four goals along with 18 shots. TCU kept the UTRGV keeper busy, forcing her to make 10 saves on the day. Meanwhile, TCU keeper Lauren Kellett recorded her first clean sheet after making the Frogs’ lone save of the game with just around five minutes remaining.

Although Coach Bell has not named an official GK1 and GK2 quite yet, it’s worth noting that this was the first time all year the time in goal has not been split between Kellett and Ehmann.

Accounting for the Frogs’ four second half goals include: Messiah Bright (50), Oli Pena (61), Gracie Brian (71) and Lauren Memoly (80).

The most memorable of the bunch was a superb strike from nearly 10-yards outside the box by freshmen Oli Pena, her first tally in a TCU uniform. Fellow freshmen Camryn Lancaster set her up on the assist, and Pena ripped a rising shot that floated over the UTRGV keeper’s head into the back of the net.

Along with Oli Pena, freshmen Lauren Memoly also tallied her first goal as a Horned Frog by way of header in the 80th minute to round out the Frogs’ downpour of goals.

After the win, coach Bell spoke on the importance of depth for his team going forward: “We are pretty deep. We knew going into the season that playing time was going to be at a premium. We were able to showcase a lot of different players at a lot of different positions. I thought they did really well against a worthy opponent in UTRGV. I’m happy with the shutout, but I’m more happy about the way we played after the lengthy delay,” said Bell.

TCU closes out their three-game homestead this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. CST as the Frogs take on Colorado. Although the Buffaloes aren’t slotted in the top 25, they received 10 votes to make the cut for the United Soccer Coaches Poll and are certainly a worthy opponent for the Frogs.

After the matchup against Colorado, the Frogs will hit the road for a three-game road trip, returning to Fort Worth on September 16 for a HUGE game against tournament regulars Pepperdine.

3-0 is quite literally a perfect start to the year, let’s go out there and make it four this Thursday!