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No. 9 Baylor soccer (4-0-0) earned two key road wins this weekend against the University of Washington Huskies and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. The Bears defeated the Huskies 1-0 in Seattle on Friday night and then conquered SMU 2-0 on Sunday night in Dallas.
Despite playing in hostile environments, Baylor’s defense got the job done limiting the Huskies to six shots and the Mustangs to nine. The Baylor defense was on full display when the team didn’t allow the Huskies to have its first shot until the 71st minute. SMU’s offense was kept in check as the Bears earned a fourth straight shutout.
“Our team defense – we play as a team with a lot of grit and determination,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “A lot of different people played minutes and did well. At the end of the game there it was just a battle in general. It was kind of like an arm wrestling match – whoever let go first would lose – and neither team wanted to let go.”
Freshmen midfielder Ashley York continues to shine, scoring her fourth goal of the season against SMU. York leads the team with nine goals scored so far this season.
“It’s been fun,” York said “Everyone works really hard so it’s easy to make good things happen when everyone is working as hard as they can. It’s a new system for me, in a different position, but it’s been a lot of fun learning about it. There is always more stuff to figure out, so I look forward to keep learning and to keep getting better.”
Junior Forward Natalie Huggins provided the lone goal against Washington when her aggressive play led to a turnover in UW territory.
“It’s a team effort so we need everybody to be on board,” senior midfielder Kat Ludlow said. “We need everybody to be on the same page. For the freshmen to just come in and step up, it takes a while for a team to get cohesive. It’s important that they come out and play with all the heart they have and not to be nervous because that trickles down to everybody when people are nervous on the field.”
Junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss also had a critical save against SMU with the score tied at one. In the 53rd minute SMU was awarded a penalty leading to SMU junior forward Shelby Redman lining up for a penalty kick from the right side of the box from 15 yards out. Kloss blocked the kick jumping to her left to prevent the tying score.
With a narrow lead Baylor widened the gap with another goal by senior midfielder Larissa Campos. The Bears have not been shutout in 13 games and have an unbeaten streak of 25 games. The two wins propelled the Bears for a program-record 11th straight road win. This season marks the first time that Baylor has started the season with four straight shutouts.
The Bears earned a No. 9 ranking from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire national poll. Baylor is ranked No. 7 by Top Drawer soccer and BennettRank.
Baylor’s road trip will continue against Missouri at 4 p.m. Friday in College Station, Texas.