By Parmida Schahhosseini
Despite taking 32 shots, No. 7 Baylor soccer could not put one in the net, resulting in a 0-0 draw with the McNeese State Cowgirls on Sunday. The draw ends Baylor’s (6-0-2) 14-game home winning streak, but the Bears keep their current 29-game unbeaten streak alive.
“It was very frustrating, senior midfielder Kat Ludlow said. “It was very frustrating to be on the field and have them outfight us. They really did. They outfought us and that’s a learning lesson right there for the rest of the season.”
While it wasn’t the way the Bears wanted to spend Senior Day, Baylor did put up a fight offensively by putting pressure on the opposing goalie. Baylor’s offense was on the attack early with a header by junior forward Natalie Huggins, which was one of the four shots she took. Sophomore defender Hadley Young took five shots, three of which were on goal. Senior midfielder Karlee Summey also took four shots and freshman midfielder Ashley York took three.
“We did not put forth our best effort,” senior defender Taylor Heatherly said. “A miss hit here and a miss hit there, sometimes we’ve won games because teams have had a miss hit. You have to follow it all the way through. You have a full game; you have to play a full play out. You have to play every single part.”
Baylor had many opportunities to score including a scrum in the box that kept getting deflected off of the opposing defense. Baylor also took seven shots in overtime, but the opposing defense crowded the box.
In the 20-minute mark, Baylor’s offense opened up and began producing more shots, but it continued to miss the net. After a header by Ludlow went wide right, another one almost went in after a cross by Huggins, but after a near collision with the goalie, the bobbled ball got saved. The best chance of the game came in the second half when senior midfielder Alex Klein had a breakaway ball, but hesitated allowing the opposing defenders to catch up.
Most of the game’s action happened inside the opponent’s territory, but McNeese State sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Kestak didn’t seem phased making 17 saves leading her team to a tie.
“She was like Spiderman.” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “She had a great performance. It’s one of those games where you chip away and chip away and that’s what we did. I was proud the girls didn’t lose their cool. They didn’t lose their head. They just kept going at the goal.”
The defense had a strong outing by limiting the opponent to only five shots, four of which came in the first half. The Cowgirls got their first shot of the second half with less than three minutes left to play in regulation. Of the five shots given up, only three of the opposing players got a shot off. Junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss had a quiet day because of it.
“They worked their butt off,” Ludlow said. “The defense was incredible.”
The defense also shut down the Cowgirls offense in overtime, by not allowing them to get off a shot.
Baylor hopes to use this game as motivation when it continues its homestead with a match against North Texas at 7 p.m., Friday.