With the baseball season coming to an end and the track and field calendar coming to an end later this month, the 2021/2022 TCU Athletics year is coming to an end.
We have a great season of new signatures, rumors and “what ifs” to look forward to in all sports this summer, but for now, let’s take a step back and see what this university has achieved over the past year. .
From winning the March Madness in basketball to the presence of the men’s tennis team in Elite 8, Horned Frog’s fans have been (badly) spoiled this year.
In this new series, we are going to remind each TCU team how well they played in their most recent season. To make things easier, we will publish this chronologically in the next few weeks.
Given that spring sports like baseball are still fresh in everyone’s mind, a great refresher on autumn sports achievements can do some good.
First things first, let’s break down the autumn season of TCU Soccer.
It’s no secret that the group has made a name for itself on campus over the years. With six straight NCAA tournaments and back-to-back Big 12 titles, TCU Soccer has not only become one of the best teams on campus, but it has become one of the collegiate soccer’s Blue-Blood programs nationwide.
After losing the program-best 2020 season to Emily Alvarado and Yazmin Ryan by seekers, there were some question marks over whether the Frogs could maintain their level of play without the two main contributors.
Those minor concerns did not last more than five games as the season began, as the Frogs beat their rivals 18-1 and a total of 18-1, including the number one victory at the time. 9 Texas A&M and later-ed. 20 Pittsburgh Street.
The initial success was mainly due to the brightening of the scoreboard by some new faces at Garvey-Rosenthal. Freshman forward Camine Lancaster and midfielder Oli Pena started the season off the bench as spark plugs but their continued on-field contributions quickly found them in the regular starting 11.
Penny’s vision and accuracy and Lancaster’s playmaking ability and fancy footwork in the offensive third were perfect additions to head coach Eric Bell’s system.
Notre Dame transfer Jenna Winbrenner also played a key role, working as a rock in Frog’s back line during her solo year at Fort Worth. Her all-field caliber performance last season was enough to send her to the professionals, as Weinbrenner is now a member of KC Current at NWSL.
Don’t forget Lauren Kelet, who picked up Emily Alvarado from her first year as a starter. The Sting Soccer Club product completed the year with an average savings of 3.3 per game, a saving percentage of 87.2%, allowing only 10 goals in all 22 games.
Of course, newcomers and new regulars have played a significant role this past season, but Gracie Bryan, Messiah Bright, Brandi Peterson and Grace Collins were in their own leagues.
As the team’s returning stars, 2019 was expected to be a big year for the group playing together and that’s what we saw.
They were all four All-Big 12 selections and Peterson was named Home Defensive Player of the Year. Brian, Bright, and Peterson were all-rounders, while Bright and Peterson were voted All-American.
Already gaining respect and recognition, Messiah Bright almost brought their grandfather home. She reached the semifinals for the MAC Herman Trophy after posting an absurd state line: 14 goals, 6 assists, 51.1% shots on goal percentage and 4 game-winners.
These are just some of the many honors and accolades TCU Soccer has received since last season. I can write a separate article on how full the Frogs trophy case is, but for now, I will try my best to cover every honor of the 2021 season.
Honors and awards
All-Big 12 1st Team
- Lauren Kelet, Brandi Peterson, Messiah Bright, Gracie Bryan, Jenna Winbrenner
All-Big 12th Team
- Payton Crew, Grace Collins
All-Big 12 Freshman Team
- Camerin Lancaster, Olivia Pena, Brenna Brosom
12 big goalkeepers of the year
Big 12 Defender of the Year
Big 12 coaches of the year
- Eric Bell (100 wins)
All-Midwest Region 1st Team
- Gracie Bryan, Messiah Bright, Lauren Kelet, Brandi Peterson, Jenna Winbrenner
Midwest Region staff of the year
All-American 1st Team
All-American 2nd Union
- Gracie Bryan, Brandi Peterson
And this excludes the numerous Player of the Week nominations of the week chosen by the Frogs. Pure dominance.
TCU Soccer is good, we know that. This is clear from the list of groceries of the above awards and their sweet 16 looks, but how exactly did the frogs get to that place?
After starting the season 7-0 with two ranking wins, the Frogs were tested against a well-oiled Pepperdine team at home. The Waves are a tournament-caliber team, proving their first defeat to the Frogs 1-0 in early September.
It was a fun start for the Frogs, as they dropped the second game 2-1 to Baylor and drew Texas 1-1 in three games. Not the worst result in the world, but doubtful for TCU’s caliber team.
With a combined score of 16-3, Frogs closed the regular season with seven consecutive wins, so there was no need to panic.
Completing the 7-1-1 conference record, the Big 12 regular season was Frogs’ second consecutive season. This year, though, the Frogs took a step further by winning the Big 12 competition.
As the number one seed in the conference tourniquet, Frog met on the way to Iowa State, Texas Tech and Texas. Victory over the cyclones in the PK-shootout, shutout against the Red Riders, and subsequent victory over the Longhorn saw the Frogs waving the trophy.
After a great season, the Frogs were ranked No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Championship where they faced Prairie View A&M in the first round.
7 months later, and yes, I’m still salty. Frogs weren’t given high seed because in the last four their way was through 1-seed rutgers. Regardless, the Frogs are the last team I can think of to overcome a challenge.
TCU opened the tournament with an 8-0 victory over Prairie View A&M. Smooth sailing ended abruptly in Round 2 as the Princeton Tigers came to play. Until the second period of overtime, but Messiah Bright completed her hat-trick with a game-winning goal to send TCU to Sweet 16.
Of course, as a 4-seed, that’s where things got really difficult.
It was a tough battle, but in the end, the frogs fell in a very heartbreaking way. After trailing 1-0 in most games, TCU equalized in the 86th minute and sent things into the OT.
Two extra 10-minute periods were not enough to clear the mess, as the Frogs trailed 5-4 in the seventh round of the penalty kick. What was then an epic comeback was absolutely delightful.
With the defeat, TCU’s overall record for 2021 ended 19-2-3.
Overall, the frogs should be proud to look sweet 16. Before coming to Elite 8 last year, Frog never made it out of the 2nd round. The fact that the loss seems to have diminished shows how far the program has come in recent years.
It was a hell of a season, and you’ll be back in your Butt the Horned Frogs to splash another NCAA Tournament this fall.
The Frogs lost Jenna Weinbrenner, Brandi Peterson, Maddie Warren and Grace Collins this offseason, which is not a bad thing at all. Chaylyn Hubbard, Mesiah Bright and Payton Crews are sitting on the board as graduate students and are using their extra year of NCAA qualification, thanks to COVID, so most rosters are unobtrusive.
If you know Eric Bell, you know he’s a mastermind when it comes to recruiting. Not everything is set on stone yet, but expect to see some new faces on the pitch in the fall.
The schedule for the 2022 TCU Soccer has not yet been announced, but the game is expected to take place by mid-August.