The TCU soccer team opened Mountain West Conference play Friday night with a 1-0 double overtime loss to San Diego State University, but the team rebounded Sunday to finish its non-conference schedule with a 5-2 win over Houston Baptist University.
TCU traveled to SDSU to open its conference schedule. The Horned Frogs kept the ball on the Aztecs’ end for most of the game but were unable to net any goals. They had multiple good looks, including a wide open shot attempt by sophomore forward Kim Castleberry in the waning minutes of the game that hit the crossbar.
SDSU was able to net a goal with two minutes left in the second overtime to take the conference opener.
TCU had a quick turnaround when it hosted Houston Baptist. The Horned Frogs took a lead less than two minutes into the game off of a header by senior defender Cheryl Martin. TCU had control of the ball for most of the half, but HBU was able to break away for a few shot opportunities.
The Huskies answered the Frogs’ goal at the eight minute mark when senior midfielder Yuri Santibanez made a shot that went over the fingertips of TCU senior goalkeeper Kelsey Walters. HBU scored later in the half to go up 2-1.
TCU came out more aggressive after halftime after making a few adjustments.
Head coach Dan Abdalla said: “The first adjustment we had to make was the girls just focusing on working hard for each other and moving for each other. The second thing was just getting more numbers forward.”
The adjustments showed in the second half, as TCU outshot HBU 14-2.
Junior forward Kristen Halverson scored two of TCU’s four second half goals and assisted freshman forward Brittany Slyman’s goal late in the second half.
The win improved the Frogs’ record to 6-6-1 and marked the end of their non-conference schedule.
The Frogs’ focus now turns to their conference schedule.
Slyman said it would take a lot of work from everyone and the team would have to come together to show what it can do.
Halverson said, “If we can be on the same page and work as a family, there is nothing that can stop us.”
The Horned Frogs will continue conference play against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Abdalla said playing against the Rebels’ attacking style will be a challenge.
“UNLV is always a very good attacking team, and they are very well organized,” Abdalla said. “They got a pretty special player up front in [senior forward] Ashleigh Shoughro, who we’re gonna have to contain.”
TCU and UNLV face off at 7 p.m. Friday at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium.