A pair of Horned Frogs scored their first collegiate goals tonight as Gracie Brian’s brace led TCU Soccer past the Santa Clara Broncos 7-0.
Kennedy Clountz and Remini Tillotson notched their first career goals in the purple and white to close out what felt like a monsoon of offense by the Frogs.
Before I dive into the actual game breakdown, I just want to point out that Santa Clara was a FINAL FOUR team just last season. The Broncos were also ranked no. 5 in the preseason polls, but after going 1-1 in the opening week, they somehow fell out of the United Soccer Coaches top 25, though they remained in the top 10 for RPI rankings.
Either way, this was a statement win for the 7th-ranked Horned Frogs against a quality opponent.
After scoring just two goals in the first two matches, head coach Eric Bell said the group needed to put more attention towards creating chances early and often. Based on tonight’s results, I think it’s safe to say Bell and co. made the correct adjustments.
The Frogs had fired off 9 shots and knocked in two goals through the first half hour of play to get on the front foot early. Both first-half goals were scored by Gracie Brian as Messiah Bright and Michelle Slater each picked up an assist along the way.
Now, entering the halftime break with a 2-0 lead over a top-notch program is certainly a good feeling. You know what’s a better feeling, though? Playing an even better 45 in the 2nd half than you did the 1st.
A lot of teams might get comfortable with a 2-0 lead. Hence the reasoning behind the “2-0 curse” in European folklore. Not this team. The Frogs looked like a group of sharks on the attack after smelling blood in the first half.
Messiah Bright opened the 2nd half scoring with a 58th-minute goal off a Gracie Brian assist. Bright completely embarrassed a couple of Bronco defenders with some nifty footwork inside the box to knock in her first goal of the season.
The Frogs’ lead would be extended just three minutes later as Camryn Lancaster notched her first goal of the 2022 season. Oli Pena sent in a gorgeous through ball for the assist and Lancaster needed only one touch to knock it through.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter than 4-0, Tyler Isgrig curled in a set piece from a tough angle to make it a five-goal advantage for the home team.
Bell had nothing but positives to say about the star freshman after the game.
“As a youth player, we recruited her because she has a goal-scoring quality and you’re starting to see that,” said Bell. “She strikes the ball really well and can also place it where she wants it to go.”
Then last but certainly not least, as mentioned previously the true freshmen duo of Clountz and Tillotson scored their first collegiate goals to close out the absolute downpour of TCU goals.
It’s still hard to fathom what exactly transpired at Garvey-Rosenthal stadium tonight, but one thing I know for sure is that this team will be as exciting and dangerous as any in the country.
With the forwards playing this ferociously and a defense that produced a clean sheet against one of 2021’s best offenses in the country; the sky is the limit for TCU Soccer this season.
Now with two consecutive victories, the Frogs hit the road to take on the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The match takes place this Sunday and is set to kick off at 3 pm CST.