By Parmida Schahhosseini
It’s going to be a tough task for No. 7 Baylor soccer to continue on an undefeated path this weekend as they travel to a hostile environment to take on Missouri and Texas A&M in College Station.
The Bears (4-0-0) will begin with a game against Missouri at 4 p.m. today and then face Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Sunday.
“I love coming up to weekends like this,” senior defender Kat Ludlow. “This is going to be one of the hardest weekends that we will have this season. They are two tough competitors and we’ve never beaten A&M, so it’s always great competition against them.”
Baylor has losing records against both teams, but this is a new Baylor team that is sure to turn up the heat as it continues to improve.
“We have some good players, but our team has always been built on a team, it hasn’t been build on a few individuals,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “We still have so much room to grow and so much room to continue to get better. I think we are still just at the beginning of where we could be.”
It’s the first time in program history that Baylor started the season with four straight shutouts. The defense only allowed 28 shot attempts as opposed to the 84 shots the Baylor offense has attempted.
Freshman midfielder Ashley York has been productive for the Bears. York leads the team with four goals and also has one assist. Sophomore Bri Campos has two goals and two assists.
Despite the great play from the defense, Baylor could have had a goal scored against them after SMU was awarded a penalty shot. Fortunately, junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss blocked the shot.
“I’m happy with how we aren’t giving up a ton of shots each game,” Jobson said. “Kloss is doing what she needs to be doing to make the saves that she needs to make, but I’m happy with our team defense overall.”
Missouri (4-1-0) has been off to a strong start with its lone loss occurring in overtime. The Tiger offense has been productive, scoring 17 goals in five games. The defense has also picked up as of late with back-to-back shutouts.
“Missouri, we haven’t faced them since the Big 12 Tournament a couple of years ago so everybody is really excited,” Ludlow said. “We are always excited for every game. This is one weekend for the books because it is Mizzou and Texas A&M.”
The Tigers have had consistency on offense with eight different players scoring goals, which is the most in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers also have four players that have scored two or more goals in junior forward Taylor Grant, junior midfielder Kaysie Clark, sophomore forward Reagan Russel and freshman midfielder Lauren Selaiden.
Texas A&M (2-2-0) has had success against Baylor (4-0-0) in the past, but this is a new Baylor team that is used to winning.
The Bears’ defense against the Aggie offense will be a matchup to watch as Baylor continues to limit opponent’s shots.
Baylor will be fighting for two crucial road wins this weekend to try to stay undefeated.