Eric Bell had one goal when he took over the TCU women’s soccer program before the 2012 season.

“I looked at the football program and I looked at the baseball program and I was like, ‘Well, the standard is pretty high,'” Bell said. “I want to be one of those coaches that’s playing in the postseason and having an opportunity to compete to win national championships as well as conference championships.

“We’re on track to do that more than ever. I’m excited about our group.”

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Bell has turned TCU into a perennial NCAA Tournament team. The Frogs made their first NCAA appearance in women’s soccer in 2016, and have received berths in 2017 and 2018. Last season marked the first time for TCU to advance to the second-round of the NCAAs.

So there is a buzz surrounding the program as the home opener kicks off tonight against Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.

TCU has already played three matches on the season, losing at reigning national champion Florida State on Aug. 22, winning at UAB on Sunday, and defeating Sam Houston State at home Thursday night.

The FSU game was a good measuring stick early on, as TCU fell 2-0.

“We learned a lot of valuable lessons from that,” said junior goalie Emily Alvarado, who had four saves.

“We’re excited to keep growing and look forward to see what happens the rest of the season.”

The Sam Houston State game began a stretch of three of four games at home, which includes matchups against Little Rock (Sept. 5) and Ohio State (Sept. 8).

The Big 12 portion gets underway with a home game against Oklahoma on Sept. 26.

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Of course, the goal is to win the conference and make it four straight appearances in the NCAAs. That’s the new expectation for the program.

How has the team handled it?

“I think they’ve handled it quite well,” Bell said. “They want to be challenged. They want to meet those expectations as well as exceed them. So that’s the focus now. It’s a day-to-day journey. We’re just looking to get better each day.

“They do want to do better than the team did last year and we’re pretty focused on doing so.” 

This article is written by Drew Davison from Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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