SAN ANTONIO – Eighth-seeded TCU stunned top-seed West Virginia, 2-0, in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Soccer Championship Wednesday night at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.
"We definitely had a slow start and didn’t bring intensity to the game," said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "We came out more aggressive in the second half, generating plenty of scoring chances but didn’t convert.
The Horned Frogs scored on a pair of corner kicks, nearly identical goals, capitalizing on successful headers at the back post.
"Give TCU credit for converting two corner kicks and putting points on the board," said Izzo-Brown, whose team trailed at the half for only the second time this season.
The Horned Frogs slowed the game down by using a possession-oriented attack. It paid off in only the 11th minute, as midfielder Monica Alvarado scored her first goal of the season on a service from Bobbi Clemmer. Alvarado was left unmarked at the back post to find the back of the net.
After TCU’s first goal, the Mountaineers challenged the next 14 minutes by taking five shots and creating two corner kicks. Forward Kate Schwindel
had a scoring chance in the 19th minute, dribbling past a pair of defenders and offering a shot that was stopped by TCU goalkeeper Vittoria Arnold.
The Horned Frogs strung together a series of passes, eventually dumping the ball into the right corner in the 32nd minute. The ball was played into the middle, forcing WVU goalkeeper Sara Keane
to punch the ball away, landing at the feet off Alvarado. Senior defender Mallory Smith
stood tall at the near post to deflect a shot out of bounds to keep it a one-goal game.
TCU added to its lead at the 58:16 mark on a goal from defender Kelly Johnson. Clemmer picked up her second assist as Johnson drove a header into the net to make it a 2-0 game.
The Mountaineers generated several scoring chances but came up empty on all tries, led by Schwindel’s game-best eight shots and a feisty effort from midfielder Bri Rodriguez
In the 53rd minute, Rodriguez took a poor clearance and unleashed a bending shot from 22 yards out at the left corner of the goal that was pushed away by a diving Arnold.
Two minutes later, midfielder Kara Blosser
, who finished with five shots, picked up a loose ball at the top of the box and sent a ball wide of the frame on a clear look.
The night’s best shot came off the foot of Rodriguez in the 71st minute. The Mountaineers maintained possession following their seventh corner kick, leading to a Rodriguez blast through traffic that rattled the right post.
Junior Frances Silva
had West Virginia’s final scoring try in the 83rd minute. Rodriguez found Silva on a through ball up the right center, slotting a ball at the near post that was pushed over the crossbar by Arnold.
WVU finished with a 25-12 shot advantage and 9-6 edge in corner kicks. More than a half dozen of the Mountaineers’ shots were blocked as the TCU defense kept WVU’s offense in front of them for most of the night.
"At the end of the day, we need to sharpen up, get better and make sure this doesn’t happen again," said Izzo-Brown.
The loss snaps WVU’s 13-match unbeaten streak, pushing its record to 11-4-4. TCU improves to 7-9-3, and will face fifth-seeded Texas in the semifinals on Friday.
WVU awaits its postseason plans with the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Selection show on Monday, Nov. 5, at 4:30 p.m. EDT on NCAA.com.