Illinois State made sure its inaugural match against a Texas team was a memorable one as the Lady Redbirds defeated TCU 2-1 on Friday night in front of 1,145 fans at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium. The loss marked the Lady Frogs' first home-opening loss since 2006.
TCU (2-2-1) had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds. On a scramble in Redbird territory, sophomore midfielder Makenzie Koch's shot hit the crossbar with 25 seconds left. The ball bounced back to senior forward Brittany Slyman, but her attempt was snatched away by Illinois State junior goalkeeper Aryn Newsom.
"We have to be better in those moments," TCU head coach Eric Bell said. "It shouldn't have to come down to the last moments of the game to figure out that we have to play harder."
Following an overtime win over Houston Baptist on Sept. 1, Bell said he wanted more energy from his team in the opening minutes. TCU had two opportunities to score against Illinois State in the first six minutes of action, but Newsom denied headers by first-year midfielders Lauren Sajewich and Meghan Murphy.
"I thought the energy was OK," Bell said. "I thought we were a little nervous playing our first home game. Psychologically I don't know if we were ready for the game."
Illinois State (2-3-0) sophomore forward Rachel Tejada scored her first goal of the season at the 12th minute to give the Lady Redbirds a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Illinois State freshman forward Hannah Leinert scored at the 62nd minute to give the Lady Redbirds some breathing room at 2-0.
But Murphy kept TCU close, scoring a header in the 70th minute off of a corner kick by sophomore defensive specialist Bobbi Clemmer.
"After our first goal we picked it up some," Clemmer said. "I thought we made a strong comeback to try to get an equalizer, but we just couldn't pull it off."
The Lady Frogs took 17 shots in the match, while the Lady Redbirds attempted 14.
TCU's next contest will be on Sunday at noon against cross-town rival North Texas. The match will be aired live on Fox Sport Southwest.