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By Parmida Schahhosseini
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the Baylor Bears to win their second consecutive Big 12 game, defeating TCU 1-0 on Friday to close out the regular season.
“We’re a good team,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “We’ve always been a good team. We’ve suffered some losses and can play with anybody.
After the Bears defense kept the Horned Frogs offense silent, sophomore forward Bri Campos scored off a free kick from 26 yards out to give Baylor the lead. Baylor was aggressive the whole night, outshooting TCU 16-8 and held an 8-0 in shots on goal. Campos was named to the All-Big 12 first team on Monday.
Junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss had an easy night, finishing without a save. The stout backline contained the TCU offense, controlling the tempo of the game on its way to its 12th shutout of the season, tied for second-most in school history.
The game could have belonged to anyone in the first half as both teams exchanged shots. Senior midfielder Kat Ludlow started the offensive attack with back-to-back shots, but TCU retaliated with back-to-back shots of its own. After continued exchanges, Baylor finished the half with the last three shots.
Three minutes into the second half, the Horned Frogs attacked early, but the shot went wide. Baylor responded with Ludlow and freshman midfielder Ashley York taking back-to-back shots, putting added pressure on Coffer. Increased chances gave the Bears a higher probability for a score, which is exactly what happened when Campos scored.
The Baylor offense came alive as it played aggressive soccer and continued to attack. The midfield play was sparked by the physical play on defense, leading to more shot creation. Baylor shot the ball four times in a row before TCU responded with a shot. The Horned Frogs tried to brew a comeback, but Baylor sealed the 1-0 win.
After going on a six-game winless streak beginning with a 4-3 loss against West Virginia on Sept. 29, Baylor won its last two games, giving it momentum going into the Big 12 Tournament.
“It’s definitely been an emotional rollercoaster,” Ludlow said. “It’s been a win-loss rollercoaster, it’s been every type of rollercoaster, but we came together and understood that God takes you really south to go north, so we believe it’s part of a bigger purpose and that all this is just preparing us for hopefully something greater.”
Baylor moves to 9-0-0 all time against TCU. The win also propelled Baylor to its forth consecutive 10-win season under the Jobson era. Despite the ups and downs, Baylor has the pieces to make a deep run. Freshman defender Lindsay Burns has added a spark with her improved play. York is second on the team with five goals.
“Coming into the season, I didn’t really know if I was going to play a lot,” York said. “Scoring in a couple games early on, I started to feel a little bit of pressure because I was like OK I’m scoring goals, I have to keep going.”
With the regular season behind it, Baylor is ready to look forward. It’s a clean slate for the Bears because everyone starts on the same playing field in the postseason with the exception of seeding.
“I’m excited for the postseason because anything can happen on any day,” Jobson said. “We have some things right with our team mentally and physically and we are seeing what it takes for us to come out, play and win games. They’ve had to learn some tough lessons this year, but I’m excited to go to the postseason with some wins in our last two games and see what happens in Kansas City.”
Baylor will play No. 4 seed Iowa State at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan.