The Frogs saw their comeback fall short in a 2-1 loss Friday night. The Husky goalkeeper played an important role in Northeastern’s win, saving 11 shots attempted by the Frogs on the night.
The Frogs were faced with a tough task to overcome in the early minutes of the match. In the 3rd minute, a shot by Northeastern was saved by freshman goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, but Alvarado allowed the rebound to trickle in front of the net and Kerri Zerfoss took advantage of the open net, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies doubled the lead in the 13th minute off a strike from the top of the box. Northeastern’s Kayla Capuzzo crossed the ball from the right corner of their attacking third to the top of the box where Hannah Lopiccolo was waiting and blasted the ball into the upper corner of the net.
“This was a situation where they were ready to play at the beginning of the game and we didn’t come out the way that we needed to,” Bell said. “We gave up two quick goals and had to battle back. That being said, I thought we did better as the game went on.”
From that point, after junior forward McKenzie Oliver was subbed in, the Frogs amped up the pressure and earned a goal in the 18th minute.
“[Oliver] is a pistol when she comes into the game,” Bell said. “She gives us a boost off the bench and has done very well off the bench for us.”
In the 18th minute, the Frogs benefitted from the pressure, earning a goal courtesy of the work from senior defender Ryan Williams. She juked the Huskies defender and crossed the ball across the box to a flying Allison Ganter who headed the ball past the goalie and into the back of the net, cutting the lead in half.
The goal was Ganter’s fifth goal of the season and the 17th of her career. Williams recorded her fifth assist of the season and 14th of her career. Ganter has scored TCU’s last four goals dating back to Friday’s match against Ball State.
The Frogs continued the pressure throughout the rest of the half, but were unable to dent the Huskies lead. TCU finished the half with eight shots over Northeastern’s five.
The pressure from the Frogs remained constant in the early stages of the second half. Within the first eight minutes of the half, the Frogs forced eight shots on goal, including a one-on-one breakaway between the goalkeeper and junior midfielder Kayla Hill and a penalty kick, both of which were unsuccessful attempts.
The missed penalty kick in the second half broke a streak of 11 straight converted penalty kicks for the Frogs, dating back three years to an Oct. 3, 2014 match against the Baylor Bears.
The Frogs were even able to put the ball in the back of the net off the foot of senior forward Emma Heckendorn, but the play was called offside.
“We had chances to score goals, but we weren’t able to get the equalizer,” Bell said. “Their goalkeeper is solid and was able to make some big saves and kept them in the game. Most of the time our shots were right at her. We didn’t do ourselves well by kicking it right to her, making her stretch would have helped us, but we didn’t do a good job of that. Hats off to her.”
In total, the Frogs fired off 11 shots in the half, seven of which were on goal. None were able to find the back of the net.
Bell praised Northeastern’s strong play, especially the goalkeeping.
“They’re a good team, and I told the team that before the game,” Bell said. “With them not being in a Power 5 conference, we don’t know a lot about them, but they have a successful program. They were able to get the job done tonight.”
The Frogs were ultimately unable to break away from Northeastern’s tough defense, losing the match 2-1. With the loss, the Frogs move to 5-2 on the season.
The Frogs will hit the road for their next couple of matches. The road trip will begin Thursday night in Dallas against SMU, earning themselves a six-day break before their next match. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
When asked about the upcoming break and if the team needed it, Bell believes the team is still in good shape but could definitely benefit from the time off.
“I don’t think we’re tired, but I think we could use it to reenergize our batteries a bit, refocus and get ready for our next set of games,” Bell said.