The Horned Frogs took on No. 1-seed Notre Dame in the Third Round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
It was another chilly night in South Bend, Indiana in which the Horned Frogs’ formidable defense was tested against a fabulous Notre Dame attack.
The Fighting Irish piled on the pressure early, but TCU remained stout with Lauren Kellett coming up with big stops to keep the game level early on.
With TCU soaking up the pressure, Notre Dame broke through in the 20th minute with a goal from Olivia Wingate. Assisted by Kiki Van Zanten, Wingate snuck a low, right-footed shot in the bottom corner, past a diving Kellett.
It was a well placed finish that put the Fighting Irish ahead in the first half. The Horned Frogs will be frustrated with how the goal was conceded as Notre Dame forced a sloppy turnover in the TCU half.
Despite going down early, the Horned Frogs responded well. They continued playing a sharp, possessive style, working to move the ball around the field. TCU had a few chances to equalize, but saves from Mackenzie Wood kept the Fighting Irish ahead.
In the 62nd minute, TCU came closest when Messiah Bright got her head onto the end of a corner. Her sharp header nearly went in for the equalizer, but it struck the outside of the post.
Just a few minutes later, Notre Dame doubled its lead with a curled shot from Maddie Mercado. From beyond the box, Mercado curled in a shot with pure finesse that found its way past the outstretched arms of Kellett.
While the Horned Frogs’ season came to an end against the Fighting Irish, it is still a season to be proud of. A fantastic campaign saw TCU place second in the Big 12, and while some senior players have played their final games for TCU, the team is in phenomenal hands with Head Coach Eric Bell, who is destined to take this team to the next level for years to come.
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