A slow start to Big 12 Conference play last weekend meant that TCU soccer entered Waco Friday night needing a win to right the ship.
That win was not forthcoming– the Horned Frogs fell to Baylor at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field Friday, 1-0.
The biggest takeaway from the match was the physicality:referee Guido Gonzales showed early on that he would allow physical play to go uncalled, and he stuck to that officiating throughout.
“We tried to make it into a soccer game, but I think it was hard for us to do that,” said TCU head coach Eric Bell. “We have to be able to fight to keep the ball once we have it, and I don’t necessarily think we did a great job of that.”
TCU came out in their typical 4-4-2 diamond formation, but pressure from Baylor in the first half forced them to switch to a more defensive 4-5-1 to get more numbers in the midfield.
Despite a 7-3 shot advantage for the Bears in the first half, an excellent performance by TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado kept the game scoreless at halftime.
“I know she made one hell of a save in the first half to keep us in it,” Bell said. “Obviously I haven’t seen the tape, but I thought she did a really good job.”
The scoreless draw was broken in the 59th minute from a set piece. A foul on TCU’s Tijana Djuricek led to a free kick for Baylor, which was lofted in and found the foot of striker Camryn Wendlandt, who buried it through the legs of Alvarado.
The Frogs struggled to deal with set pieces and crosses all night– most of Baylor’s better chances came from balls lofted into the box.
After the goal, TCU had to take more offensive initiative, and they did, switching to a 4-3-3 formation with strikers Bright and McKenzie Oliver on the wings.
Despite the change, the Frogs couldn’t find the back of the net and the match finished 1-0 in favor of the Bears.
After the loss, Bell has turned his attention to Sunday’s match against the University of Texas, which is now a must-win.
“We need three points– we need three points bad,” Bell said. “I’m glad that we can play at Garvey-Rosenthal on Sunday, and hopefully a bunch of people come out to support us.”
TCU returns home to Fort Worth for Sunday’s match. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.