Teams catching on to women’s soccer playing style

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    The Horned Frog soccer team brought home a win, a loss and three all-tournament player awards from its weekend in Lubbock at the Red Raider Classic.

    The Frogs took on the Wildcats of Weber State University on Friday and came out on top 2-1. But on Sunday they took a hard loss, falling 1-0 to the University of Alabama.

    Weber State played the Frogs close in the first half and took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute.

    The Frogs came back, though, and outshot the Wildcats 12-1 in the second half. The Frogs tied things up in the 72nd minute on a score by sophomore forward Jordan Calhoun.

    Calhoun later assisted freshman Leigha Leonard score the game winning goal in the 85th minute.

    “Jordan was just as dangerous as she usually is and was able to create opportunities earlier in games this weekend,” said head coach Dan Abdalla.

    The Horned Frogs outshot the Wildcats 22-7 over the course of the match, a theme they continued against Alabama. The Frogs outshot the Crimson Tide 19-8 but couldn’t convert shots into points.

    Abdalla said the team was still trying to find its rhythm.

    “We needed to be a little sharper, a little hungrier in the box,” he said.

    Alabama junior Brooke Rogers put an end to the Horned Frogs’ tournament hopes in the 49th minute, rocketing a shot past freshman goalkeeper Kira Michelson-Bartlett into the upper left of the goal frame.

    Crimson Tide goalkeeper Justine Bernier posted a shutout against the Horned Frogs and was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, according to Alabama’s Rolltide.com. Bernier led the Crimson Tide to the Red Raider Classic title with her play.

    Horned Frogs Calhoun, sophomore Katie Taylor and junior midfielder Nikki Wilbur were also recognized and awarded all-tournament honors.

    “Katie did great all weekend,” Abdalla said, “She did great stepping up the line and was a real organizational leader.”

    Abdalla praised Wilbur for her prowess in the midfield.

    “Nikki plugged the hole in midfield and provided lots of opportunities for the attack,” he said.

    The Horned Frogs left the tournament with a 5-4-0 record and will play their next game against Stephen F. Austin State University at 7 p.m. Friday in Fort Worth.

    Abdalla said there is still room for improvement for the Frogs, especially considering their plan of attack.

    “We definitely have to use the outsides more to open up the middle,” Abdalla said.

    Other teams are catching on to the Horned Frogs’ playing style, Abdalla said, and teams are learning how to defend against them.

    “It used to be easy for us to sneak up,” Abdalla said. “Now we have to make adjustments.”