TCU Drops Overtime Heartbreaker
Aug. 29, 2014
FORT WORTH - The home opener for the TCU women's soccer team ended in heartbreak as Missouri escaped with a 2-1 overtime victory. Jill Finnerty scored her first career goal in the loss.
"Really pleased with the way our kids came back and made it a game," said head coach Eric Bell. "They challenged us in the second half and we were a tough group. Unfortunately, I don't think we were rewarded for our hard work in the second half."
TCU fired off 10 shots, four of which were on goal in the match. While yielding 21 total shots to Missouri, the defense limited the shots on goal to just nine. Vittoria Arnold made a season-high seven saves in the loss.
After playing to a scoreless tie in the first half, Missouri opened the scoring in the 55th minute. Reagan Russell sprung a 2-on-1 with a long pass up the middle of the field. Her feed found a streaking Jessica Johnson who crossed the ball to Taylor Grant. Her shot from the right corner of the five-yard box went in just below the crossbar for a 1-0 Tiger lead.
The Frogs fought back immediately as they tried to get the equalizer. Emma Heckendorn tested the keeper in the 60th minute, but McKenzie Sauerwein was there to make the save.
Kela Gray took the field in the 67th minute and paid immediate dividends for the Frogs. She led the Frogs up the field and feed a streaking Heckendorn, but her shot was just wide of the goal.
Two minutes later Gray's efforts earned the Frogs a penalty shot as she tried to split a pair of Tiger defenders. Jill Finnerty took the penalty kick and blasted it past a diving Sauerwein to tie the game at one.
TCU's backline of Meghan Murphy, Ryan Williams, Bobbi Clemmer and Lauren Sajewich kept Missouri in check for the remainder of the half. They came up with three blocked shots and Arnold had to make just two saves to get the game to overtime.
The Frogs earned a corner kick just a minute into overtime, but the ball was cleared out of danger and pushed down field by the Missouri midfield. Grant again found herself with the ball and she kicked it over a diving Arnold. The ball just barely crossed the goal line ahead of Arnold to give Missouri the 2-1 win.
In the first half, the Horned Frogs fended off a couple of Tiger chances in the early stages of the match before turning the field in their favor in the middle part of the half.
Heckendorn was a force along the sideline as she made run after run to get the ball deep in the offensive half of the field. In the 16th minute, she found herself one-on-one with the keeper, but her shot sailed just wide of the goal.
A corner kick in the 18th minute almost turned into a goal for the Horned Frogs. Eryn Spencer made a strong feed into the goal box where it eventually found Allison Ganter. Her shot attempt was blocked out of danger by a Tiger defender to keep the game scoreless.
For her part, Arnold made three stops in the remained 25 minutes of the first half. In addition, she limited the Tiger attack as she cut off numerous crossing attempts to keep the match scoreless heading into halftime.
"Emma Heckendorn was everywhere, she was buzzing and hard to deal with. Kela Gray came in and gave us a big lift. Brittany Little did as well off the bench," raved Bell. "I thought that the kids that came in off the bench really gave us an opportunity to win. In each game we've seen different people grow up. I saw Kela Gray grow up today, same with Brittany Little."
TCU falls to 1-2-0 on the season. The Frogs will continue their four-match homestand Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest against No. 18 UCF.