Michigan State women’s soccer begins the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament against No. 17 TCU


Jack Moreland

Emerson Sargeant protects the ball against Minnesota Oct. 30, 2022/ Photo credit: Jack Moreland

Luca Melloni, Sports Editorial Assistant

EAST LANSING — The fourth-seeded Michigan State women’s soccer team faces off against No. 17 TCU in the second round of the NCAA tournament. After a dramatic 3-2 win against Milwaukee in the first round, the Spartans prepare for another knockout game against the Horned Frogs on Friday, Nov. 18.

This will be the first time MSU faces TCU since the program started in 1986.

“They’re [TCU] a national brand,” Hosler said. “They’re very similar to us. In fact, if you go through analytics, they’re the team most like us in possession and style of play.”

The Spartans were left stunned when Milwaukee’s Kayla Rollins scored in the 89th minute to send the game to overtime.

Graduate forward Camryn Evans sent MSU to the second round of the national tournament after her late game-winner in overtime solidified the win against Milwaukee.

“It’s very difficult for a team to concede in that type of dramatic fashion and be able to come back out and be on the front foot,” Hosler said. “I think it shows the resiliency they play with.”

It was the Spartans’ first-ever home win in the National Tournament.

TCU (13-4-5) has faced five ranked opponents in the regular season. They came out on top against Santa Clara and Texas A&M but were held to a draw against Harvard and Texas.

TCU defeated UTSA in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Two goals in the last eight minutes of the game saw the Horned Frogs through to the second round.

Sophomore forward Camryn Lancaster sealed the 3-1 victory over TCU in the 83rd minute.

The Horned Frogs finished in second place in the Big 12 standings and had a similar record to the Spartans.
However, Friday’s game against MSU raises a different challenge for TCU.

The second round will be played at the University of Notre Dame and temperatures are expected to reach 27 degrees with snow showers earlier in the day. With the wind chill, it will be a frosty afternoon in South Bend, Indiana.

“It’ll feel like seven degrees..yes seven… so that’s perfect for us,” Hosler said. “We’ll be training outside all week and getting ready.”

Michigan State will not just have to continue to adjust to tough conditions but will also have to adjust to TCU forward Messiah Bright’s play style. Bright earned a call-up to the US U23 Women’s Youth National Team in June.

She is a clinical striker that usually needs less than two touches to find a clear shot opportunity. She has scored 49 goals in five seasons at TCU.

In 2021, Bright was named a United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American and was the Big 12 tournament Most Outstanding Player.

“Coach Bell has done an excellent job of bringing a talented team together, and I think they boast a lot of impressive individual athletes who we will have to manage to find success,” Hosler said.

Bright and MSU forward Lauren DeBeau have both notched 11 goals and earned All-Conference First-Team honors, respectively.

“She’s [DeBeau] got a bit of that old-school toughness in her,” Hosler said. “She hasn’t been physically at 100 percent for over two months now but you wouldn’t know it with the impact she makes on the pitch.”

DeBeau is this year’s Big Ten Forward of the Year after leading MSU to its first-ever conference championship in just her second year in East Lansing.

“The thing I admire most is when it’s hard when it’s a tough moment she’s the one who wants the ball to make those plays,” Hosler said.

She transferred to MSU in 2021 from Central Michigan University. DeBeau has scored 13 goals and tallied six assists since then.

“We’re the newcomer to this party on Friday,” Hosler said. “We’re just looking to go, have that same mentality. Win or lose, we play hard and let our work and performance do the rest.”

Friday’s second-round matchup against No. 17 TCU is scheduled for 3 p.m. from South Bend, Indiana, and will stream on ESPN+.