"Thank God, for another opportunity to be with these guys. I don't know what to say honestly. We've been through a lot this year and this is a special group. Not because we are winning but I think we are winning because they are special group. Couldn't be more proud of these girls. Their leadership is right where it needs to be. Everyone's influence has been right on top of things and they are doing the things they need to do, with the details and all that." Baylor Head Coach Paul Jobson.
Baylor comes into today’s matchup against Duke as the Cinderella underdog with the Lady Bears being the only team among the Elite Eight that is not seeded. Duke on the other hand is a No. 1 seed.
Duke is coming into the match on a three game winning streak, having last lost to North Carolina in the ACC Championship Tournament. Baylor on the other hand is riding a six game winning streak which includes a Big XII Championship.
“I’m super stoked. We say we want to give God praise whether we win or lose.” Coach Paul Jobson.
To get here, Duke’s last two games were against Big XII teams Oklahoma State and Texas. Baylor’s last two games were against defending national champion USC and Notre Dame.
USC Head Coach Keidane McApline had this to say about the Bears after their loss to Baylor:
“Gutty. I mean they are a gutty team. Lots of guts and dangerous personalities. They are extremely competitive and their goalkeeping is solid. She kept them alive in a lot of moments. They have the components because I think in this time of year you just have to have the guts to continue to fight through games and to fight through down moments and to just keep going. They have those components; they have players who are dangerous, they have athleticism, they have a good defense. They have those pieces.”
Says Baylor Coach Paul Jobson after his team’s victory over Notre Dame:
It's a never say die mentality and they are very resilient. We talked about that at halftime. If they score, we score. We just have to keep doing what we're doing. This team wasn't ready to give up on their season yet. This is special group with that way they are able to battle and fight for each other has been really fun for me as coach to experience.
When asked if Baylor was one of the more aggressive teams Notre Dame has played this year, Notre Dame Head Coach Theresa Romagnolo responded:
“Oh absolutely. They are very physical and do a great job of contesting everything in the air and winning every little loose ball.”
How do the Lady Bears feel about being here at this moment?
“It’s awesome. I mean like we have been saying this whole season we are just playing and fighting to play with each other for another game. I mean it was a whole team effort the whole entire time. So, it was just great to get the result that we have been working hard for.” Senior Defender Precious Akanyirige.
“Excited. Thrilled. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and the fact that I get to eat Thanksgiving (food) and be on the road with this incredible team is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me and that’s saying a lot. It’s an awesome feeling. It’s still like when we won Big 12, it’s indescribable. You’re on cloud nine. This is amazing.” Junior Forward Lauren Piercy.
Sights Set on College Cup as No. 1 Duke Hosts Baylor - Duke University Blue Devils, The Baylor Bears will be looking to make their first College Cup appearance in school history on Friday. They are led by Aline De Lima, who tops the team with seven goals, eight assists and 22 points. Jennifer Wandt has been the primary in goal, allowing 15 scores (0.71 GAA) and making 62 saves in 1892:45 minutes of work.
SOC Treks to No. 3 Duke for Elite 8 Matchup - Baylor University Official Athletic Site, Bears Look To Keep Storybook Season Rolling Into College Cup.
“I think our season has really prepared us for this," Jobson said. "We played three top-25 teams within our conference, had to beat two ranked teams to win a Big 12 Championship and then had to knock off two great teams - defending national champion USC and a perennial powerhouse in Notre Dame - this weekend. Our team has seen the best of the best. I think the awe factor of playing a nationally recognized program should be out the window."
Duke is trying to advance to the Women's College Cup for the fourth time in program history and first since 2011. While Aline De Lima leads the Bears with seven goals and eight assists, Imani Dorsey and Kayla McCoy have 13 goals apiece.
"They move the ball really well - north, south, east, west - they move the ball really well, and they're really comfortable with the ball at their feet," Jobson said. "They're comfortable under pressure. They're just a quality team from top to bottom."
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