Ganter leads Frogs past Missouri in double overtime thriller

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Regulation couldn’t determine a winner Sunday evening at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium as the fans received free soccer in the thrilling match between the Horned Frogs and the Missouri Tigers.

In their first overtime match of the season, the TCU defeated the Tigers 2-1 in double overtime on a penalty kick from senior forward Allison Ganter , capping the comeback and the weekend in perfect fashion. With the victory, the Horned Frogs remain undefeated at home this season.

“It was a great weekend,” TCU head coach Eric Bell said. “We got two great results against two worthy opponents. Hopefully we can use that as a record of how good we can possibly be. Moving forward, we have the confidence that we can beat anyone we play.”

The Tigers put early pressure on the Horned Frogs in the first half. Missouri took the lead in the 11th minute on a cross into the box from the left side of the field. The Tigers capitalized on the opportunity and placed the ball in the back of the net past freshman goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.

TCU had a plethora of scoring chances in the first half, but none were better than freshman forward Tayla Christensen’s cross from the right of the box to junior forward McKenzie Oliver. The ball ricocheted off a Missouri defender into the back of the net, but the play was called dead when the referee called a foul on Oliver in the box.

Missouri goalkeeper Kristen Rivers played strong in net in the first half, preventing any scoring opportunities from Horned Frog crosses.

“I believed we were knocking on the door,” Bell said. “It was just a matter of time before we scored one.”

The Horned Frogs Frogs carried the play in the half, but were unable to dictate the action. Despite being outshot 6-0 in the first half, play was mostly spent in the TCU attacking zone only to see chances broken up by Missouri’s backline.

“Missouri’s a strong team,” Bell said. “The first 20 minutes was really hard for us, but we were able to figure out some things and change the shape a little bit. We were able to turn the tide and create some good scoring opportunities in the 2nd half and in overtime.”

Coming off another thriller on Friday night against Ball State, Bell believes that Missouri’s style is very different from Ball State’s.

“Two different styles, but we had to adjust,” Bell said. “Sundays are always hard. Having to deal with the physicality and long minutes is hard, but we were able to find a way to dig it out.”

Senior defender Ryan Williams and freshman defender Ariana Owens kept the first half competitive with their strong play on the wings. Williams and Owens played lock-down defense on the Tigers’ attackers to prevent any additional damage.

Bell commented on the evolution of the defensive backline over the season so far.

“Ari and Tijana [Djuricek] are growing up, and Ryan’s a veteran,” Bell said. “The more games that we play together, the better they are. We work on it on a weekly basis and hopefully we can figure out a way to not give up goals and create more scoring opportunities from the back. I’m proud and happy of them, and I’m expecting big things from them.”

Trailing at halftime 1-0, senior forward Allison Ganter commented on the atmosphere of the halftime locker room.

“We knew at the beginning that we didn’t start off very strong and that we were still in the game,” Ganter said. “All we needed to do was get one goal and the momentum would change.”

The Horned Frogs countered the first half pressure by the Tigers in the second half, coming out of the locker room with a vengeance.

The Frogs tied the match in the 64th minute off a free kick from midfield. A foul by Missouri at midfield awarded a free kick to TCU that was taken by Djuricek who placed the ball in the box in front of senior forward Emma Heckendorn. Heckendorn’s shot off the post was deflected to Ganter who placed the ball into the open net.

Djuricek’s defensive effort kept the Frogs in the game down the stretch of the second half. She deflected multiple crosses from the Tigers out of the box and out of harms way.

The Horned Frogs’ offensive pressure amped up in the second half. TCU attempted five corner kicks and fired off eight shots in the second half, but couldn’t capitalize on any.

TCU carried the momentum they obtained in the second half and continued the pressure in the overtime period. In the first 10-minute period of overtime, the Horned Frogs fired off two shots in a very spirited effort, but were unable to find the back of the net.

In the 118th minute of the match, Heckendorn earned a penalty kick for the Horned Frogs. The golden goal of the match ensued. Ganter capitalized on the penalty kick, scoring her second goal of the night and eighth career game-winning goal.

She tallied her third and fourth goals of the season Sunday night, bringing her to 16 career goals. Ganter’s 16 career goals are tied for 10th all-time at TCU with Jessie Moore who played for the Frogs from 2003-04 and Lisa Wells who played at TCU from 1992-94.

Ganter and Bell thanked the crowd for giving the team a necessary spark.

“I haven’t heard the crowd that loud in a long time,” Ganter said.

“The crowd was awesome,” Bell said. “I’m happy that everyone was able to come out. Hopefully they will want to come out more and support us. We want the students to come out as well.”

The Frogs will return to Garvey-Rosenthal stadium and complete their homestead Friday, Sept. 8 against Northeastern. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.