Welcome back to Baylor Soccer posts! Apologies for the lack of content over the past two weeks. What with my busy schedule and the inability of Notre Dame to provide a free stream of their game, I wasn't able to watch the past couple of games. However, I was able to make it out to Betty Lou Mays on this gorgeous fall evening to view the Bears play what might be their hardest-fought game of the year.
Kansas started the game off on with the upper hand, scoring a goal in the 27th minute off of a cross that came from a (what looked to be) ridiculously shallow angle that was headed into the opposite corner.
"Each team'll be down 1 goal at some point. It's about how you respond & we responded well. Gotta finish." - Alexa Wilde
From there, the game was almost all Baylor. The Bears launched attack after attack on the Kansas back line, but Lady Luck was not shining on the Jobsons and company. Credit, of course, has to be given to the Kansas goalkeeper. The senior Kaitlyn Stroud's positioning was excellent all evening and it allowed her to snuff out several chances for the Bears.
There was at least five chances for the Bears that could have been a goal had the ball shifted a little bit in flight or was tipped by a green-booted foot towards goal. So many chances to finish, yet Baylor just couldn't get the ball to go where it wanted. That being said, that happens in soccer. You can have all the chances in the world, but if the ball isn't struck just right, it won't go in. Frustrating, but there isn't much the girls could have changed to finish those particular strikes.
I would have liked to see Baylor get numbers forward more quickly. Kansas was able to do this and it gave them several options with the ball, leading to a number of shots. Had Baylor gotten more players up more quickly on some of their breakaways, we might be talking about how they upset a Top-25 team.
So yes, Baylor lost. There's no shame in losing to a very good team like Kansas, 1-0. The most impressive thing, for me, was the effort the Bears showed during the game. You could see it on the faces of the girls at the end of the game; they were spent. They had left it all on the pitch. Tonight was the most together I have seen Baylor play all year. The loss stinks, but if Baylor Soccer plays this well every game, they will make waves in the Big 12.
Player of the Game
Senior Midfielder Alexa Wilde. Plain and simple, the game changed when she came in. Her ability to be the target on the attacking end and distribute the ball after receiving it and senior leadership definitely calmed down the Bears and allowed them to play a better game.