Soccer seniors started a winning tradition

At the end of each soccer season at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium, one night is set aside to honor seniors and the contributions they’ve made to the program. This year’s bittersweet ceremony was held Friday night following a 4-1 loss to San Diego State University and ended, as usual, with flowers and a video tribute to this season’s three departing seniors, Lizzy Karoly, Kelly Faerber and Michelle Nguyen.

But any Frog soccer fan who has been around for the past four years knows Friday night was also the celebration of a revival that began when this senior class entered TCU.

Since 2006 the soccer team has seen a steady increase in wins, peaking in 2008 when the Horned Frogs finished 14-4-2 and finished just shy of a NCAA tournament birth. The Horned Frogs totaled 37 wins over the past four years.

Karoly made a huge mark on the Horned Frog history books, passing Sarah Campbell as the TCU leader in career goals scored against Rice earlier this season. Karoly now sits at 27. Karoly finished the regular season tied for fourth in team history with 12 career assists and second in points scored all time. These record book stats earned Karoly many conference honors over her four years as a Horned Frog.

Faerber established herself on the field as a leader, even when limited to the sideline. In 2007 Faerber was sidelined for the season with a knee injury but remained close to the team, setting herself apart as a veteran figure early in her career. From the stands and press box, Faerber was at times the unofficial captain of this Horned Frog soccer era.

Nguyen was thrust into a leader’s role early in her career, leading a young Horned Frog midfield to No. 18 in the nation in scoring offense in 2008. Nguyen currently has 13 goals and 15 assists in her career as a Horned Frog.

The class of 2009 has also helped set the stage for the future by improving the quality of recruits the program has been able to bring in. Star sophomore forward Jordan Calhoun likely will surpass Karoly in career goals before her career is over.

Despite a disappointing 2009 season, the Horned Frogs made it into the Mountain West Conference Championship in Provo, Utah and will face Utah in their first game Wednesday afternoon.

Frog fans can honor these three seniors by tuning into this week’s games. Karoly, Faerber and Nguyen will go down in the Horned Frog history books not only for the stats they earned on the soccer field, but also for what they accomplished as leaders and their help in making this program a staple in the national spotlight.