TCU women’s soccer enters season with near Big 12 title swagger, not regular-season blues

Posted Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Schedule
Date Opponent
Aug. 23vs. Wyoming
Aug. 25vs. Air Force
Aug. 30at LSU
Sept. 1at Houston Bapt.
Sept. 6vs. Illinois St.
Sept. 8vs. North Texas
Sept. 12at SMU
Sept. 15vs. Arkansas
Sept. 20vs. Denver
Sept. 22vs. C. Arkansas
Sept. 27at Texas
Oct. 4at Texas Tech
Oct. 6vs. Okla. St.
Oct. 11at Kansas
Oct. 13at W. Virginia
Oct. 18vs. Oklahoma
Oct. 25vs. Iowa St.
Nov. 1vs. Baylor
Nov. 6-10Big 12 Tourn.

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A year ago, they almost won the Big 12 tournament as the final seed. This season, the TCU women’s soccer team hopes it doesn’t have to limp into the tournament.

“I think we set the bar high last year, and I think that puts a good amount of pressure on us to do even better this year, at least as good or better this year, hopefully winning the Big 12 championship this year rather than getting second place,” sophomore defender Bobbi Clemmer said. “The bar has been set high and we’re definitely ready to keep it there.”

Last year, TCU finished 7-10-4 (1-5-2 in Big 12) but marched through the Big 12 tournament in San Antonio, losing to Baylor 4-1 in the championship game.

Clemmer returns as the team’s first preseason All-Big 12 selection and has quickly realized that the Horned Frogs’ second go-around in the conference creates a different atmosphere for the team.

“Coming from a personal standpoint, I guess I’m not that scared little freshman anymore,” Clemmer said. “I feel more confident in my abilities and the team as a whole.”

The team also has more confidence in its coaching staff, led by second-year head coach Eric Bell. Bell said this year’s fall practice has been more productive because they have not had to focus on the details of the system. The players simply know what to expect, he said.

Bell said he believes this year’s squad has already demonstrated better chemistry and talent than last year’s..

The team opens the season at 4 p.m. Friday against Wyoming in the Montana Tournament in Missoula. The Horned Frogs play Air Force at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

The veteran presence on the team comes in the form of two transfers: Lexi Harris from Texas and Maddie Payne from Boston College.

“[Payne is] a great worker and a great person on and off the field,” goalie Vittoria Arnold said. “Her being the oldest on the team adds a little more mother role to us. She’s good at being a leader and being a vocal voice in the locker room and being encouraging.”

Arnold and Harris played on the same club team in high school.

“She’s a hard worker and very talented,” Harris said. “She’s willing to go the extra mile when it’s needed. She’s definitely tough on the field which is needed.”

This TCU team doesn’t see the failures of a seven-win season, just the positive culture shift that reaching the Big 12 title game creates.

“I think everyone here is motivated to win and motivated to get farther than we did last year,” Arnold said. “Practices are just as hard and coaching is just the same. They’re still great and they are holding everyone to a higher standard, especially seeing how far we came last year. They want to make sure that they go the extra mile this year, too.”

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