The soccer team showed poise under pressure in its 2-1 victory against Sam Houston State Friday night at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium, bringing its record to 4-3.TCU pulled out a 1-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game thanks to a goal by freshman forward Chelsea White. It was set up by a rolling pass from senior defender Karissa Hill that met White’s right boot from three yards out. The goal was White’s second of the season.
The Bearkats responded in the 20-minute mark when the team’s defender, Brittany Foerstner, sent a long-range chip in the direction of Sam Houston State striker Yoanna Garcia. Garcia quickly connected with a volley that drifted into the goal, past the outstretched arms of TCU senior keeper Katy Buchanan.
Minutes later, freshman midfielder Michele Nguyen found the net on an unassisted shot from about 20 yards out. The ball bounced underneath diving goalkeeper Melissa Sauceda as Nguyen notched her third goal of the season.
“The defense left a huge gap, and I took the opportunity to hit it,” Nguyen said.
The second half found both teams battling for ball possession as TCU tried to preserve its one-goal lead.
“I think it was one of those games where the tempo slid out of our favor,” head coach Dan Abdalla said. “We needed to keep the pace at our level.”
Abdalla said the lineup for the game was missing a few players, so that he could rest the team for the trip to Nebraska for the Sunday matchup.
“We had some players that were not playing, and we knew it would be a battle,” Abdalla said.
That battle had TCU ripping shot after shot on the opponent’s goal, but none of the 19 second-half shots found the back of the net.
Abdalla said TCU had its chances to score but the team needed to do a better job of finishing its shots.
With 14:28 remaining on the clock, silence fell over the stadium as junior midfielder and leading scorer Lauren Pope fell to the ground with a possible knee injury.
After Pope left the field, the match began to wind down, and the Bearkats had fewer scoring opportunities. Sam Houston’s final chance came on a free kick in the closing seconds, but the cross was thwarted by a jumping save from Buchanan.
“All I could think was we’ve worked this hard for 90 minutes, we can’t let them tie it now,” Buchanan said.
After the game, Pope was taken to a hospital for her knee to be examined, but as of Monday afternoon, Abdalla said there was no information on the extent of her injury. He said that Pope was undergoing an MRI and the team is waiting for results.
Nguyen will be taking Pope’s place in the midfield line, Abdalla said.
Though Nguyen said she has played center midfield before, she said, “It is a big responsibility taking her place, because Pope is such a great player.