TCU Soccer came away with a 2-1 win in the first overtime game of the season on the road at Alabama.
This is the first time in program history the Frogs have opened the season with six consecutive wins although it didn’t come easy. Alabama came prepared for the No. 6 team in the country rolling through town and provided the Frogs with likely their toughest test of the young season.
The Crimson Tide played incredibly physical and focused on limiting TCU’s possession out wide on the wings. The first half was like watching two different games in one. In the first 24 minutes of the game, Bama was relentlessly applying pressure and attempted five shots with three being on goal, forcing Lauren Kellett to make a few quality saves.
Kellett ended up making four saves in the first half, but right around that 24 minute mark is where things shifted in TCU’s favor. The Horned Frogs turned things around by firing off four shots in the span of six minutes, one of which being the opening goal scored by Camryn Lancaster in the 35th minute.
This was star-freshman Camryn Lancaster’s third goal of the season in just six games. Each and every time she comes off the bench, she creates havoc for opposing defenses with her speed and produces chances on goal for the Frogs.
After the opening goal TCU seemed to have found their groove in the attacking third, but then came a dog fight of a second half.
A lot of teams try to keep constant pressure on TCU, but eventually the Frogs’ methodical, possession-first style of play wears defenses down. Well, Bama never got worn down. They just kept going and going and going, until eventually they scored a goal of their own.
Alabama scored the equalizer in the 61st minute, and the pressure was on for TCU.
There were certainly some similarities in TCU and Alabama’s style of play, which could be somewhat expected when dealing with two head coaches from the same coaching tree.
Head Coach Eric Bell and ‘Bama coach Wes Hart were both assistant coaches under Mark Krikorian at current No. 1 Florida State.
Although they were assistant coaches at different times - Hart 2013-2014 and Bell 2006-2011 - chances are they each learned a thing or two from a guy with four national title game appearances.
After the equalizer, ‘Bama just wouldn’t quit. The Crimson Tide ended up leading the Horned Frogs in shots 19-12 at the end of regular time. Heading in to overtime, the momentum was certainly in ‘Bama’s favor, but momentum doesn’t mean squat when your going up against the Frogs in OT!
Less than three minutes into overtime, Messiah Bright scored a game-winning header off a sensational cross into the box from Grace Collins to keep TCU’s perfect season alive.
The cross originally deflected off the Alabama keeper’s hands, but Bright was in the right place at the right time to put one in the back of the net.
After tonight’s win, TCU Soccer is now an outstanding 49-3-2 under Eric Bell when leading at halftime. There were a few worrisome moments in this one, but as always the Frogs found a way to win when it matters most.
The Horned Frogs own claim to the 25th ranked cumulative strength of schedule in the country, and their three-game road trip certainly doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Ohio State this weekend.
TCU takes on the Buckeyes this Sunday at 11 a.m. CST to wrap up their long streak of away games. Next week the Frogs will host another top-15 matchup; No. 13 Pepperdine comes to town this Thursday.