TCU Soccer team captains

TCU girls soccer captains Liz Beth Mendez and Danessa Buckingham were optimistic about the team’s improvement this year. (Carson Hughes/southernminn.com)

The girls on the Tri-City United Soccer team just made program history. Five games into the team’s third season, the Titans finally knew the taste of victory after Saturday’s game against Schaeffer Academy delivered the program’s first win.

Despite giving up two goals early in the game, the Titans bounced back to earn a narrow 3-2 victory. Nora Titus and Karen Ruiz nabbed the win with two goals and one goal scored respectively.

The Titans were bolstered by a goal late into the first half of the game and went on to control the field in the second half.

“The TCU girls controlled possession of the ball in the midfield third of the field and scored two more [goals] to finish the game with their first win,” said coach Carey Langer. “It was great to see the girls finish a game with a win, and they were very excited. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s great to finally say we won a game.”

The Titans’ first victory was sandwiched between two losses on Thursday and Monday. TCU was outmatched by Mayer Lutheran on Sept. 9 11-0 and fell to United Christian Academy on Sept. 13.

“Mayer Lutheran has the ability to move the ball quickly around the field and a plethora of girls that can shoot from the top of the penalty box with pace on the ball,:” said Langer. “We’re simply not at that level yet.”

Goalkeeper Calley Stephens significantly mitigated the Titans’ potential losses, but Langer said Mayer Lutheran had too many good shots to score.

“Our defense was solid in the first half and actually played Mayer Lutheran toe-to-toe, but in the second half Mayer Lutheran was able find separation and take good shots that scored,” said Langer.

Langer had more hope that the girls would be a better match against United Christian Academy, but after a slow start and early scoring by the opposing team, the Titans never recovered.

“We were flat the entire game and just couldn’t put anything together, which was unfortunate as I think we really matched up well with this team,” said Langer. “UCA controlled possession and simply just out hustled us the whole game. I think we learned some things from them on what it takes to win and control the ball. “Despite the losses, Langer was seeing positive signs that the team was improving. ‘‘They are beginning to win 50/50 balls out of the air, we are switching the field much quicker than ever before, and we are beginning to create more opportunities in the offensive third of the field,” said Langer. “We just need to take the final step and discover that with more hustle and conviction to win the ball, we can create even more possibilities that can and will result in goals.”

Reach Reporter Carson Hughes at 507-931-8575. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All Rights Reserved.

Reach Reporter Carson Hughes at 507-931-8575. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All Rights Reserved.

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