Three of the Thorns draft picks from this year’s 2021 NWSL draft played in the second round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Here’s how they performed.
TCU vs. New Mexico
Yazmeen Ryan’s TCU Horned Frogs received a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. The Big 12 Champions met New Mexico in the second round. The Lobos advanced to the second round after defeating Navy on penalty kicks.
TCU started the match with a few half-chances. The Lobos’ avoided going down early and played at a frantic pace, pressing the Horned Frogs and forcing them into turnovers.
In the 28th minute, a miscommunication between two TCU defenders allowed Alesia Garcia to receive the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. She fired her shot past the keeper at the far post to give the Lobos a surprise lead.
The Horned Frogs came out of halftime and immediately tied the match. Gracie Brian found Messiah Bright, whose shot was tipped by the goalkeeper but couldn’t save it. A little over a minute later, TCU took the lead. Ryan assisted Grace Collins.
TCU put the game out of reach with another Collins goal and a Payton Crews goal within the first seven minutes of the start of the second half. Ryan assisted on Crews’ goal for her second assist of the night.
The Horned Frogs continued to dominate after their early goal spell. Avery Barron scored the first goal of her career and Maddy Warren added the sixth for TCU.
Garcia added scored her second of the night for the Lobos, making it 6-2.
TCU will play the winner of Georgetown South Carolina on May 5 at 3 p.m. (Pacific).
Rutgers vs. Clemson
The Scarlet Knights advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament courtesy of a late Amirah Ali game-winner. They met No. 14 Clemson for their second-round matchup. Ali started the match but was in and out due to a knock.
Clemson looked to build out of the back and play through the middle. Rutgers attempted to counter quickly to find a goal on the break.
The Tigers took the lead with around 18 minutes left in the first half. Maliah Morris danced down the end line and slid her shot past the Rutgers keeper.
The Scarlet Knights responded well after conceding. They put Clemson under pressure but were unable to capitalize in the first half.
In the second half the Scarlet Knights took the game to Clemson. With only 5:38 remaining in the match, Emma Misal assisted Allison Lowrey to tie the match at 1-1.
Rutgers hit the post in the first half of extra time but the match was to be settled by penalty kicks. The Clemson Tigers advanced after converting all five of their spot kicks.
Penn State vs. Vanderbilt
The Commodores started the match on the front foot, but the Nittany Lions grew into the match. Vanderbilt hit the post with a looping shot 19 minutes into the match. The Commodores had another opportunity a few minutes later.
Vanderbilt was unable to capitalize on their chances in the first half and Penn State made them pay in the second. The Nittany Lions were the superior side in the second half, dictating the pace of the match.
Rachel Wasserman found Kristin Schnurr in the Commodores’ penalty area and fired the ball off the cross bar and into the back of the net. Twelve minutes later, Coffey provided a the service from a corner kick and Eva Alonso doubled the Nittany Lions’ lead.
Penn State will play top-seeded Florida State on May 5 at 12:00 p.m. (Pacific).