TCU’s hope for a third consecutive trip to the Big 12 tournament championship game was dashed Sunday in heartbreaking fashion: penalty kicks.
The Horned Frogs’ trip to Kansas City ended in the quarterfinals at the hands of Texas Tech, who won the penalty shootout 5-3.
Jade King converted the match-winning penalty to send the Red Raiders through to the semifinals, where they will face Baylor.
The first half was relatively uneventful, but the best chance of the half fell to TCU in the 30th minute from a corner kick. Kayla Hill fired in a cross to Karitas Tomasdottir, who saw her shot blocked by a defender. Tara Smith and Tijana Djuricek each had their follow-up shots saved as well.
TCU’s best second-half chance came through McKenzie Oliver, who watched her shot on goal hit the crossbar.
“I thought that our second half was much better than our first half,” said TCU head coach Eric Bell. “We gave ourselves the chance to win in that second half.”
Neither team could break the deadlock in extra time. Texas Tech had the better of the chances, but a number of timely interventions by TCU defender Cachet Lue kept the match scoreless heading into penalties.
The match’s defining moment came in the second round of penalty kicks. McKenzie Oliver stepped up to the spot for TCU and missed the target, putting her shot over the bar.
Texas Tech capitalized on the mistake, finishing each of their five penalties with precision for a 5-3 victory.
“When it comes down to penalty kicks you never know what’s going to happen,” Bell said. “Congrats to them for being able to make all five.”
Despite their elimination from the tournament, penalty defeats are recorded as draws, which moves TCU’s record to 12-4-3 on the season.
All eyes now turn to the NCAA tournament. The Frogs will hope to secure an at-large bid and their rating percentage index (RPI), which is a metric used by the NCAA to rank teams, of 23 has them in a comfortable position despite Sunday’s outcome.
The NCAA tournament’s field of 64 will be announced Monday, Nov. 5.