Soccer can’t find equalizer against Kansas, falls in conference championship

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Messiah Bright dribbles past a Kansas defender in TCU’s regular-season draw against the Jayhawks. Photo by Jack Wallace.

TCU soccer couldn’t find a second-half equalizer in the Big 12 Soccer Championship Final, falling to the Kansas Jayhawks 1-0. 

“I told the team that I was proud of the way we fought,” head coach Eric Bell said. “We gave ourselves a chance at the end to equalize. We created some big chances but hit the woodwork a couple of times and the goalkeeper came up big for them.”

TCU and Kansas exchanged five shots apiece in a fairly even first half. The Frogs were shutout in the first half for the 11th time this season. The team is 3-5-3 when being shut out in the first 45 minutes.

The action kicked up in the second half, with the Frogs outshooting the Jayhawks 13-9. Despite the shot differential, Kansas bagged the opening goal in the 55th minute and would hold onto the lead to clinch the Jayhawks’ first-ever Big 12 postseason title.

Messiah Bright won her first career postseason award with the Offensive Player of the 2019 Big 12 Tournament. Photo by Jack Wallace

There was a silver lining to the loss, as Messiah Bright won the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the postseason tournament for her two-goal performance.

This loss puts TCU at 0-4 all-time in Big 12 Championship Finals, falling in 2012, 2016 and 2017 before this season. 

Next up for the Frogs is the NCAA Tournament which TCU has made three-straight appearances. The first of those three in 2016 was the first-ever NCAA tournament appearance for the program.

“We’ve grown up the last three weeks and now I think we’re definitely one of the best 64 teams in the country,” Bell said. “This group deserves to be in the tournament. Hopefully, the committee sees that and we get the call tomorrow that we are in.”

TCU awaits their tournament fate this Monday at 3:30 p.m. during the NCAA Selection Show.