“I’m excited for our group and for the seniors,” head coach Eric Bell said. “It all came together and the team looked very good.”
Both the Frogs and the Bears entered the locker rooms at halftime scoreless. A competitive first period of action saw many quality scoring chances for the Frogs, but none found the back of the net. The best scoring opportunity for the Frogs came off of a corner kick in the 13th minute.
Freshman defender Tijana Djuricek crossed the ball into the box and the ball was shot into the back of the net, but an unexpected goalie interference call from the referee against the Frogs kept the game scoreless.
The Frogs and Bears finished the first half also tied in attempted shots, saves and corner kicks. Each team attempted seven shots and three corners and earned three saves.
Bears forward Reagan Padgett broke the tie in the 57th minute. Streaking down the field, Padgett angled into the box from the right side and shot a bullet past sophomore goalkeeper Katie Lund.
A heavy attack by the Frogs following the Baylor goal paid off in the 69th minute as senior forward Emma Heckendorn rocketed a shot from outside the box into the top corner of the net. The goal was Heckendorn’s fourth goal of the season and Yazmeen Ryan assisted on the play.
“We’ve been practicing on shooting a lot in practice, so when I saw that I had an opportunity, I went for it”Heckendorn said. “It was a great feeling to see it go in to the back of the net.”
“Her goal was huge,” Bell said. “We deserved goals before that, but we kept on plugging away and believing which created chances. She hit a great ball, credit to her.”
As the final seconds of the game continued to tick away, Padgett and the Bears had a chance for a buzzer beater goal. A shot from the right side by Padgett was saved by Lund as the clock struck zero. For the fourth time in conference play and the sixth time this season the Frogs would complete a game with overtime.
Ryan was fouled in the box in the 108th minute, awarding the Frogs a penalty kick. Heckendorn instigated the action on the throw-in, catching a streaking Ryan into the box who was fouled soon after. The penalty kick was taken by Djuricek and she fired the shot into the back of the net to give the Frogs the 2-1 victory. The goal was Djuricek’s first career goal.
The Frogs move to 12-4-1 in the regular season and 5-0-1 in overtime matches with the victory. The Frogs finish the regular season with 19 points in conference play, finishing in 3rd place in the Big 12 with six wins. Six wins is the most conference wins ever for the Horned Frogs. 12 wins is the second-most in program history.
Bell said that the reason his squad is so tough to play against in overtime because they believe in themselves.
“We’ve done it before, so it’s not a situation where they’re afraid,” Bell said. “They know that they’re playing in a golden goal situation, so precision is key in defending and attacking.”
“This win is a huge confidence booster for us,” Heckendorn said. “It shows that we can come from behind and if we play as a team, we can play with the best of them. To finish my career on our home field on senior night with a win against Baylor is incredible. We will remember it forever.”
The Big 12 tournament lies ahead for the Frogs. TCU will face the Kansas Jayhawks in the opening round of the tournament. The match is scheduled for Wednesday Nov. 1 with kickoff at 8:00 p.m.
“After playing the way we played last Sunday and tonight, it bodes well for us in the future,” Bell said. “Now the stakes are higher and it’s survive and advance. That’s what we’re all about.”