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Horned Frogs defeat McNeese State for second soccer victory of weekend

TCU School of Journalism
Yazmeen Ryan runs through the pregame player tunnel before TCU’s match against Alabama on August 17, 2018. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

It took a bit of free kick magic to get TCU on the board Sunday afternoon as the Horned Frogs defeated McNeese State 1-0.

The game was scoreless for 62 minutes until a foul on Kayla Hill gave Yazmeen Ryan a free kick opportunity from 28 yards out. She curled a shot around a diving Emma Roccaforte, the Cowgirl keeper, for the goal.

Ryan, who was pegged as a preseason All-Big 12 selection, knew exactly what she wanted to do to score her first goal of the season.

“Any time the ball is on the right side, I always see that left side open,” Ryan said of her first goal of the season. “Also, I know the goalkeeper might cheat a little bit, so if I just put some curve on it, then it’ll go in.”

Forward McKenzie Oliver dribbles into space against Alabama on August 17, 2018. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

TCU’s starting lineup was almost identical to the one used against Alabama—the only difference was in the center of defense, where Brandi Peterson replaced the injured Tijana Djuricek.

“She was a little banged up, so we didn’t want to risk it,” Head Coach Eric Bell said of Djuricek. Bell said he expects Djuricek to be ready for the team’s next match.

The game fell into a consistent pattern from the outset, as TCU controlled possession and McNeese State looked to score on the counterattack.

The Cowgirls’ best chance of the first half came in the 29th minute when midfielder Morgan Middleton cut around TCU defender Cachet Lue and fired a shot that was saved by goalkeeper Katie Lund.

TCU’s best opportunity of the opening period came shortly before halftime when midfielder Tara Smith crossed the ball to forward Messiah Bright in the box. Bright turned and volleyed it on frame, but Roccaforte made a lunging save to push it away.

Karitas Tomasdottir (17), McKenzie Oliver (12) and Messiah Bright (11) celebrate a goal against Alabama on August 17, 2018. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Roccaforte made eight saves over the course of the match – including one in the 71st minute that denied Ryan a second goal.

“I thought we did really well today,” Ryan said. “We had a lot more chances today than Friday’s game, and we were getting in and attacking a lot more.”

The win moves the Frogs to 2-0 on the season.

“It’s always good to get a win,” Bell said. “We’ll work on the finishing this week. If we didn’t create the chances, then I’d be a little bit more concerned, but right now we’re creating a lot of chances.”

The Horned Frogs will continue their homestand against Stephen F. Austin at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium Thursday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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