Freshman’s hat-trick ignites soccer in win

A big performance from a high-scoring freshman is what the soccer team needed Wednesday as it heads into conference play, the head soccer coach said.Freshman forward Jackie Torda recorded the first hat trick of her college career and led TCU to a 5-2 win against Prairie View A&M on Wednesday at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium.

Head coach Dan Abdalla said it was a great outing for the freshman forward, who now has nine goals on the season.

“Going into conference, that’s what we needed was for her to get some confidence and put the ball in the back of the net,” Abdalla said.

Torda said scoring was difficult at first because Prairie View was playing an offsides trap, but in the second half, the team got it together when it was able to play the ball wide.

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Torda said. “It’s good to get the goal, but [my teammates] worked really hard to help me get there.”

The Horned Frogs, now with a record of 5-6 on the season, controlled the ball for most of the first half, not allowing the Panthers to have a shot on goal for the first 45 minutes. TCU could not capitalize on several chances to score until Torda found the net in the 31st minute, giving TCU a 1-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, it took Torda just 12 minutes to score again with a chip into the top of the net.

“I broke the defense and I figured the goalie’s coming out, so I just tried to chip it over her,” Torda said. “I just hit it and luckily, it went in.”

The Frogs followed Torda’s second goal with another score 12 seconds later, as sophomore forward Lizzy Karoly knocked it in from inside the box to make it 3-0.

After a free kick goal from Prairie View freshman defender Monica Diaz in the 69th minute, Torda answered with a minute later, completing the hat trick.

When Prairie View freshman forward Angelica Diaz scored in the 72nd minute, the Frogs again answered quickly as sophomore midfielder Lizzie Batten scored her first career goal to put TCU up for good at 5-2.

“They were playing an offsides trap, so we were trying to dribble through them,” Batten said. “Chelsea [White] passed it back to me, I shot it and it went in, thank God.”

Abdalla said he was satisfied in what the team got out of the strong performance.

“It was big for us to get into a game where if we do make a mistake or two that we’re OK,” he said.