A record night for Heckendorn as Frogs squeeze past chippy Ball State squad

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The Frogs squeezed by a vexing Ball State squad Friday night with a 2-1 victory in a very tough battle.

Coming off a weekend where the Horned Frogs suffered their first loss of the season, senior forward Emma Heckendorn said the team came into this weekend with a different mentality.

“We all banded together,” Heckendorn said. “We knew that we outplayed [Colorado] but didn’t get the result that we wanted, so we came into this game knowing it was going to be a fight and we needed to pick ourselves up. I believe we did.”

Head coach Eric Bell said the loss didn’t affect the way the team prepared for this weekend.

“It’s all the same,” Bell said. “We focused on some certain things, but coming into the game, we had to figure out what we needed to do to win the game. After we lost to Colorado, we figured out a way to get a win at Northern Colorado, and we got the win tonight.”

In the first few minutes, the Frogs established their early dominance in the game and got off to an early lead over the Cardinals.

Heckendorn got the scoring started for TCU in the 11th minute. Senior defender Ryan Williams sparked the opportunity with a mid-field interception. She quickly tapped the ball outside to senior forward Allison Ganter. Ganter fed the ball upfield to junior midfielder Kayla Hill who recorded the primary assist on the goal. Heckendorn received the pass from Hill in the box and snuck the ball in between the legs of the Cardinal’s goalkeeper.

The goal marked Heckendorn’s third goal of the season and 15th of her career.

The Frogs doubled the lead in the 22nd minute on a Ganter header into the bottom-right corner of the goal. The goal came off a throw-in from Heckendorn in give-and-go fashion to freshman midfielder Yazmeen Ryan. Ryan immediately passed the ball to Heckendorn in the corner, and Heckendorn crossed the ball to Ganter, who capitalized on the opportunity. Ganter tallied her second goal of the season and seventh career game-winning goal.

Heckendorn earned herself a night to remember. With the assist, Heckendorn became TCU’s all-time career assist leader.

“It’s nice to have, but at the end of the day [the record] just a statistic,” Heckendorn said. “At the end of the day, getting assists is nothing without getting the goal. It’s all about them.”

For the last 23 minutes of the half following TCU’s second goal, the Cardinals played the Frogs tightly and didn’t allow for many strong scoring chances for the Frogs.

“I think they tried to make it hard, but I think we made it harder on ourselves,” Bell said. “I give them credit for making it hard on us, but after we scored the first two goals we hit the easy button, relaxed and let them back into the game.”

The Frogs allowed their first goal at home this season in the 24th minute of the game. After an interception in their own box, the Frogs allowed a point-blank opportunity for Ball State, who shot the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Katie Lund.

The play in the second half did not differ from the first half. As neither team budged on the scoreboard, play started to become physical and chippy. In the second half, Ball State earned two yellow cards and TCU’s freshman midfielder Whitney Sullivan recorded TCU’s only yellow card in the period.

Heckendorn said the pesky Cardinals caught the Horned Frogs off guard.

“We pride ourselves on being a physical team,” Heckendorn said. “When a team comes out and matches that, it throws us off. I think towards the end we stepped up and matched their level of physicality.”

The Cardinals outshot the Frogs 7-3 in the second half, but Lund stood tall in goal and made three huge saves in the final 12 minutes to keep the lead for the Frogs.

The Frogs will return to Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium Sunday to take on the Missouri Tigers. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.