By Ray Cartwright
Frogs Today staff writer
FORT WORTH — It was a record-setting night Sunday at Garvey Rosenthal Stadium. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on the field as No. 6 TCU fell to No. 2 Duke 3-1.
A record 3,648 fans watched the battle of top-10 programs, shattering the previous mark of 2,994 set last season when TCU took on Texas A&M.
“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to create,” coach Eric Bell said. “Thank you to the community at-large, student body, families and friends of the players. It is an awesome environment for big-time college soccer game, and our apologies for not doing a little bit better and sending them home a little more happy.”
TCU once again found itself playing from behind early, as Duke scored the game’s first goal in the 11th minute. TCU had plenty of opportunities in the first half to equalize, but couldn’t get one past the Duke goalkeeper Ruthie Jones. One of the opportunities came from Olivia Hasler as she fired one at Jones deep in the box, but Jones was able to make an incredible save.
The Horned Frogs (3-2-1) came out playing strong in the second half. They had five corner kicks in the first six minutes, and had another golden opportunity to equalize in the 40th minute, but Jones punched away a shot toward the top of the net from forward Cameron Lancaster.
The game turned in the 53rd minute. Duke was able to past TCU defenders, leaving Michelle Cooper one on one with goalie Lauren Kellett. She had to choose between racing back to get in position to make a save or attack Cooper. She chose to attack, and Cooper was able to get by her and tap it in to make it 2-0.
Minutes later, after a TCU turnover, Duke scored an easy one after a TCU defender collided with Kellett for a 3-0 lead.
Things started to get chippy in the second half, including one moment in which Bell, Payton Crews and assistant Ryan Higginbotham all received yellow cards. TCU’s play ticked up after that, and the Frogs were able to score off a corner kick set piece. Freshman Tyler Isgrig kicked the ball in and it eventually found Lauren Memoly, who was got it past Jones as TCU avoided the shutout.
That was Memoly’s first goal of the season and her fifth one of her career.
“It’s all about the service and the movement in the box,” Bell said. “I think we had some chances with some and others they cleared out. We’ll go back to the drawing board and work on some of that stuff as well.”
The loss is the first TCU home defeat since Baylor won at Garvey Rosenthal on Sept. 26, 2021, and it is the first time TCU has lost two consecutive matches since November 2019. The Frogs lost Thursday at USC.
“We talked about we’ve given up six goals in two games,” Bell said. “We have to be better in that regard. There may be some changes coming up in the lineup and how we play, so just be ready to come in on Tuesday and work.”
TCU was once again without one of its captains as Gracie Brian missed her second consecutive game with a lower body injury. Things don’t get any easier this week for the Frogs, who hit the road again Thursday to face Texas A&M in College Station.