TCU Soccer Continues to Make School History

The TCU soccer players and coaches crowds together around the Big 12 conference trophy. The players are all smiling while multipe players hold up cardboard cutouts and the majority hold up a number 1 hand signal.
Photo from TCU Athletics

TCU Soccer Makes NCAA Tournament 

TCU soccer continues to make history in its 2020-21 season by earning its first-ever national seed in school history in the NCAA tournament. This season was an odd one to start with, but the Horned Frogs are making it work. Already winning the Big 12 conference season for the first time in school history the Frogs are in the hunt for a national title. In recent years most soccer programs played their season in a fashion that starts and ends in the fall semester of the school year. Due to pandemic concerns, The 2020 NCAA tournament was postponed until the Spring of 2021. This also meant the Horned Frogs were only able to play conference teams during the Fall. 

Fall TCU Soccer Season

After the Horned Frogs earned the crown of the Big 12 in the regular season, pre-Covid 19, the Horned Frogs would have been able to carry that momentum into the NCAA tournament and compete for the championship then. Because of the extended season, the Horned Frogs enjoyed holiday breaks like most Spring athletes and stayed ready to compete in warmer months. 

TCU had an undefeated Big 12 season, except for against Baylor, which resulted in a tie in the Horned Frogs’ first season game. Most importantly, in the last game of the Fall season, they were able to take down the long-time ruler of Big 12 soccer, West Virginia, in a 1-0 knockout to take the Big 12 crown. Grace Collins scored the single goal against WV that stood as a game-winner, her third in a row, while Emily Alvarado picked up her 7th shut out of the season. The Horned Frogs completed their Fall and Big 12 season 3-0 against Top-10 opponents and a first-ever undefeated conference schedule. 

TCU Soccer Recognition

Multiple Horned Frogs received Big 12 awards dominating the rest of the teams and again earning a school record. Horned Frog head coach, Eric Bell, received Head Coach of the Year honors while multiple Player of the Year awards reached the team. Grace Collins was selected the Offensive Player of the Year. Emily Alvarado was named Goalkeeper of the Year, and Marz Akins was chosen as Freshman of the Year. Both Collins and Alvarado also made the Big 12 Conference First team. The First Team All-Conference is also joined by Brandi Peterson and Yazmeen Ryan. Messiah Bright also was announced 2nd Team All-Conference and Marz Akins and Olivia Hasler to the Big 12 All-Freshman team. 

Another twist to this 2020-21 season was the traditional NWSL draft. The professional women’s soccer league went ahead as scheduled in January of 2021. This year marked another historic TCU milestone with Yazmeen Ryan being selected sixth overall by the Portland Thorns FC. This gave Yazmeen Ryan the title of the school’s highest draft pick ever. The timing of the draft left with some speculating if she would complete the season, but to most relief, she stayed. 

The Horned Frog Spring Season

The Spring portion of the season didn’t phase the Horned Frogs much. Six games made the Spring schedule, but only four games were completed. Other than a 1-0 loss to Texas A&M, the Frogs showed dominance and remained undefeated at home. In the last game of the Spring season, the Horned Frogs defeated Notre Dame 2-1. The two goals from TCU came from Messiah Bright and Yazmeen Ryan. Goalkeeper Emily Alvarado defended the goal for the Horned Frogs fearlessly. 

NCAA Tournament Bid

The Horned Frogs are this year’s tournament No. 4 seed out of a 48 team field. This year’s tournament will take place in North Carolina between April 27th and May 17th. Because of its automatic bid and national seed, TCU earned a bye in the first round of the tournament. The Horned Frogs will face the Navy/New Mexico game winner that takes place April 27th at 6 p.m. TCU and the winner of that match-up will play on April 30th at 6 p.m. West Virginia and Oklahoma St. both received bids from the Big 12.

Looking for more on Horned Frog sports? Check out the rest of the sports category!

Story by Regan Hestand

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