Countdown to Game No. 1

July 2, 2008

With the first match of the 2008 season only a month away, gives readers an inside look into the history of TCU versus Stephen F. Austin.

All-Time Series
The Horned Frogs lead the series 4-0-0. The 2008 meeting between the two Texas schools will be the first-ever contest while Dan Abdalla has been head coach at TCU. The Horned Frogs and Ladyjacks last met in 1998 in Nacogdoches, Texas. The Purple and White won the match 4-0 and continued its four-year dominance in which TCU outscored the Ladyjacks, 19-2.

Last Season's Exhibition Contest
TCU opened its exhibition slate in 2007 with a 0-0 tie against Stephen F. Austin at the Stephen F. Austin Soccer Complex. The following is the recap from that contest on Aug. 22, 2007.

"I thought for our first game out it took us a half to settle down. I was pleased with some of the chances that we created," said head coach Dan Abdalla.

The Horned Frogs and Ladyjacks battled to a scoreless draw in the first half. For the period, both teams recorded two shots apiece. Junior Caroline Starns led the TCU offensive attack with one shot-on-goal, while freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Walters posted the first half shutout.

Early in the second half, Lizzy Karoly, a sophomore from Escondido, Calif., looked to put the Horned Frogs on the board, but saw her shot hit the post. Michelle Nguyen, a Richardson native, followed with a shot of her own, but failed to connect from five yards out.

For the match, TCU outshot the Ladyjacks, 15-7, including 13-5 in the second half. Karoly led the Horned Frogs with five shots on the day, while Jackie Torda chipped in with three.

On defense, Walters and Kelsey Vross split time in goal and posted three saves on the night. All three came in the second half.

Scouting Stephen F. Austin
The Ladyjacks will be led by first-year head coach George Van Linder, who has compiled a career record of 124-99-20 (.551). In his previous stop at Baylor, he led the Bears to a 31-52-9 record. His tenure included a 2006 trip to the Big 12 Tournament, which was Baylor's first in five years. He also helped the Bears collect two all-conference honorees and 41 Academic All-Big 12 selections. Under Van Linder, his squad posted victories over perennial nationally ranked Texas, Nebraska and Missouri.

The Ladyjacks went 13-5-2 this past season and won the Southland Conference regular-season title with a 7-1-1 record. Stephen F. Austin also won the 2007 conference tournament title, to advance to the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history.

Scouting TCU
TCU returns 10 of 11 starters from team that posted the most overall wins during Abdalla's four-years in Fort Worth. The Purple and White will rely heavily on returning all-conference performer Lizzy Karoly and sophomore Jackie Torda, who led TCU in goals scored last fall with nine, to carry the frontline during most of the season.

With the departure of senior leader Angie Nickens in the midfield, TCU will count on returning starters Chelsea Cody, Michelle Nguyen and Nikki Wilbur during the early portion of the season. Look for redshirt freshman Kaylie Garcia to make her presence felt early and often this season as she was a Top 150 recruit coming out of high school.

The defense from 2007 returns intact with seniors Sara Schneider and Caroline Starns providing leadership from the backline. Sophomore Cheryl Martin also returns, following a solid freshman campaign in which she started 18 matches. Returning goalkeeper Kelsey Walters is back as well and will look to continue her domination in net after picking up several weekly honors following a shutout of nationally ranked Utah to closeout the season last fall.



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