A few miscues by TCU’s defense in the first half gave the Bears chances to open the door in the championship match, but the large frame of the Big 12’s top goalkeeper Katie Lund bailed the defense out on many plays to prevent any Baylor goals, continuing her tournament dominance.
The Frogs were unable to generate much offense in the first half and spent most of the first 45 minutes on their heels in their defensive zone.
The Frogs entered the locker room tied at zero for the fourth straight game and the third time in the Big 12 tournament. Baylor dominated play, firing off eight shots on Lund while the Frogs were unable to produce a shot in the frame.
The Frogs came into the second half with a different identity and focus as they were able to control the ball with a larger possession percentage than the first 45 minutes. The Frogs threatened with three consecutive corner kicks in the 50th minute, none of which produced an attack for TCU.
The Bears took the lead in the 69th minute of the match off a perfectly placed ball across the box from Aline de Lima to Kennedy Brown who tapped the ball past Lund’s outstretched arms. The goal was just the seventh goal TCU has allowed after halftime this season.
Senior forward Emma Heckendorn was involved in a major collision with Baylor’s goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt in the 82nd minute. Heckendorn limped off the field after spending a few minutes lying on her back in pain.
When it almost seemed out of reach for the Frogs, TCU caught a major break when Baylor defender Precious Akanyrige was called for a handball in the penalty box in the 87th minute. Williams took the penalty kick and fired it into the back of the net, knotting the game at one.
Regulation wasn’t enough to determine the match for TCU’s fifth straight game and for their second straight Big 12 Championship. For the second straight season, the Frogs were defeated in golden-goal fashion in the championship game.
In the 94th minute of the match, a beautiful ball from de Lima found a cutting Lauren Piercy who slipped the ball between Lund’s legs and into the back of the net. The goal was the first goal TCU has allowed in overtime this season.
“Congratulations to Baylor on a job well-done,” TCU head coach Eric Bell said. “I’m very proud of the way we fought back in the second half and the effort that we put into it in the second half as well as overtime was very valiant. Unfortunately we weren’t able to create enough scoring opportunities to score a goal. I am very proud of our group; I love our group.”
Throughout the season, the Frogs played in a school-record nine overtime periods. Sunday’s match was TCU’s first loss in overtime this season.
Now the Frogs await their NCAA tournament fate. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Bell remains optimistic about their chances of making the tournament.
“Hopefully the NCAA committee saw what we are made of, and we can get into the tournament,” Bell said. “I think we are one of the top 64 teams in the country. Hopefully we are rewarded on Monday.”