By Parmida Schahhosseini
It’s the circle of life for the No. 7 Baylor Bears as they quickly answered any concern about the offense with consecutive 5-0 wins against UTSA and Northwestern State. Despite losing the top three goal scorers from the previous year, the underclassmen came up big scoring six of 10 goals.
Freshman midfielder Ashley York gave the offense the firepower it was looking with three goals this weekend, including two against Northwestern State.
“I’m happy for Ashley because she has a tremendous shot,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “We all know she can score goals, so getting her in front of the goal is a good thing.”
When York wasn’t scoring, she was assisting the team in other ways such as putting pressure on the defense leading to a Northwestern State player to score an own goal when York passed the ball to senior forward Vic Hoffman (originally intended for junior forward Natalie Huggins) and the cross was headed in by the opposing player.
“I was looking for Nat [Natalie Huggins] coming on the backside and I think the girl just didn’t know where she was at, I’m not really sure, but it worked out.” York said.
York also tacked on an assist setting up sophomore forward Bri Campos with a cross from the left side of the box against Northwestern State. Baylor did have a scoring drought in the first half with only one goal in 21 shots.
I think this team likes to keep people on their toes and wait until the last minute to start scoring,“ Campos said. ”The first goal just came and I knew after that everybody would step it up.”
The goal marked the second of the season for Campos after she scored one against UTSA late in the game.
Baylor’s team defense was on display as they only allowed only 11 shots this weekend leading to back-to-back shutouts. Junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss only had to make two saves the entire weekend.
“It’s something we have implemented for a long time. We started with our defense and our defenders are just hard nosed, tough kids,” Jobson said. “Anybody that plays in that position knows what it takes to be a defender in this system. They played great defense, very solid. Taylor [Heatherly] is a great leader back there. Selby [Polley] plays like a veteran. I think we are pretty solid in the back.”
The Bears put pressure on opposing teams by attacking the ball. This pressure forced the other team into making mistakes leading to goals for Baylor. Against UTSA, senior midfielder Alex Klein intercepted a pass and set up junior forward Natalie Huggins in the box.
Baylor’s play in the second half against Northwestern State reflect its strong start against UTSA, with both quarters being dominated by scoring. Against UTSA, Baylor scored all five goals in the first quarter. Baylor’s fast start set the tone for the weekend, which began with a goal by senior forward Vic Hoffman.
“When we played Notre Dame, we didn’t come out as strong,” Hoffman said. “We focused on offense and attacking and hitting the ball. We had really good single goal scorers last year. This year it’s more across the board.”
Freshman defender Emory Cason, senior midfielder Kat Ludlow and Huggins each scored a goal.
Baylor hopes to take this kind of production on the road against Washington when they play at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Husky Soccer Stadium in Seattle.