The TCU women’s soccer team overcame a gritty battle against the University of Texas Longhorns to win its first match in Big 12 Conference play 1-0.
The Horned Frogs came out aggressive in the first period outshooting the Longhorns 8-5. In the 17th minute of the period, center midfielder Kelly Johnson was able to score a goal assisted by outside midfielder Ashley Jones to give the Frogs a 1-0 lead. It was Johnson’s fourth goal of the season.
In the second period the Frogs went on the defensive attack blocking 12 shot attempts by the Longhorns. The effort gave Vittoria Arnold her sixth shutout this season.
“I think our team finally competed for 90 minutes and we gave ourselves a chance to win,” head coach Eric Bell said.
The team was feeding off of the momentum of Friday night’s tie against Texas Tech University, Jones said.
The Frogs were in a slump heading into the weekend, having not won a game in conference play, Jones said. She said the victory was a huge boost to the team’s confidence and that all of their hard work finally paid off.
Johnson said she credits other factors for the Horned Frog victory. Sunday was senior day for the team, which encouraged members to play well for lone senior Monica Alvarado.
Johnson also said the home crowd of more than 2,000 spectators was huge motivation. The crowd was the fourth largest in women’s soccer history.
“The energy is unreal,” she said. “Towards the end of the game it’s just like you’ve played 80 minutes and you’re dying, and you just hear the crowd and they lift your spirits and keep you going.”
Bell said he was proud of the Frogs’ performance.
“We are making strides at the right time of the season," he said. "Hopefully we can carry that into the next weekend."
The win places the Horned Frogs in position to qualify for the Big XII Tournament. In order to clinch a spot in the tournament, the Frogs need to win either the next match on Friday, or the Iowa State Cyclones team need to lose its game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
TCU takes on the Baylor Bears in Waco Friday night. Match time is set for 7 p.m.