Oct. 16, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -
The Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team (9-4-3 overall, 2-0-1 Mountain West) extended its unbeaten streak to nine matches defeating the TCU Horned Frogs (7-8-1 overall, 1-3 MW), 3-1, on Sunday afternoon. Cowgirls Sara Paul, Kayla Davis and Liz O'Reilly each scored goals for the Cowgirls in the victory.
"I thought we played really well today," Wyoming head coach Danny Sanchez said. "TCU had the run of play at the beginning of the game, but we settled down and got a good result."
In the first half the Horned Frogs pressured the Cowgirls early with two shots on goal in the first ten minutes. TCU's Tori Hale and Alex Mechalske each put shots at the UW net with Cowgirl keeper Courtney Merkle keeping both out. On the counter attack, Paul put UW's first shot on goal twenty seconds after the Mechalske shot but TCU keeper Alicen Wright had the answer keeping the ball out. The Horned Frogs possessed the ball and kept the pressure on the Cowgirls for the next ten minutes, but Wyoming answered in the 22nd minute. After two long passes by Lucie McDowell and Davis, Paul received the ball in the left corner of the TCU goal box and banged the ball off the left goal post and past Wright, giving UW a 1-0 lead. Following the UW goal, TCU attempted to answer with five shots in the next ten minutes, but only one forced a play from Merkle. In the 37th minute, Cowgirl Ellen McCormick took consecutive shots with both just missing the TCU goal. The Frogs took two more shots in the half but neither threatened the UW net. In the 44th minute, Paul attempted to put the Cowgirls up two goals firing a shot at the TCU goal forcing Wright to make the save. The Cowgirls took the 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"I think the key to the game was us getting the first half goal," Sanchez said. "TCU was putting us under a lot of pressure and we really settled down after Sara's goal."
The second half started much like the first half with TCU coming out the aggressor. Horned Frog Brooke Kviz took the first shot on goal of the half in the 49th minute, but Merkle made the save. After a defensive breakdown in the 52nd minute the Cowgirls defense fouled a TCU player in the penalty box giving the Horned Frogs a penalty kick. Kviz took the penalty kick and slipped the ball low and under the outstretched arms of Merkle tying the game at one goal apiece. Cowgirls Paul, McCormick and Sheree Small combined for five shots in the next twenty minutes, but only one forced a save by Wright. TCU took two consecutive shots in the 76th minute forcing Merkle to make the save on one. On the counter attack the Cowgirls were able to regain the lead. In the 78th minute, Davis booted a strike from the left corner of the goal box that went high and past Wright giving UW a 2-1 advantage. Davis was assisted on her goal by Paul. Seven minutes later O'Reilly put the game away for the Cowgirls. After a foul on TCU the Cowgirls were awarded a free kick. The kick was an indirect kick so Paul touched the ball first and O'Reilly put her boot to the ball and it went high and past Wright for UW's third goal of the day. When the clock hit 90 minutes the score remained 3-1 in favor of UW.
"Kayla's goal was a tremendous strike," Sanchez added.
The Cowgirls were outshot 22-21 by the Horned Frogs but put eight shots on goal to TCU's 7. Paul led UW in shots with eight, while McCormick added six of her own. Paul's goal was her seventh of the season which is the most for the Cowgirls. Davis scored her fourth goal and her third game-winning goal of 2011. O'Reilly's score was her first goal of the season. Wyoming soccer is now on a nine match unbeaten streak which is the longest in school history. The 9-4-3 record is also the Cowgirls best start through 16 games ever.
Wyoming soccer will return home next weekend, Oct. 21-23 to play their final home matches of the season. On Friday, Oct. 21 UW will host San Diego State at the Louis S. Madrid Soccer Pitch beginning at 3 p.m. MT. In their final home game of the season on Sunday, Oct. 23 the Cowgirls will host UNLV for senior day with kick off set for 1 p.m. MT.
"I think we are gaining more confidence with every game," Sanchez said. "We are pleased with our performance this weekend, but we know we need to be ready to play next weekend."