By Parmida Schahhosseini
23 seconds made all the difference in the previous matchup between No. 4 Iowa State (9-9-2) and No. 5 Baylor (11-5-3), but not this time as Baylor came away with a 1-0 win on Wednesday at Swope Soccer Village in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship.
The Bears got much needed production from the underclassmen as sophomore forward Bri Campos crossed the ball into the box and freshman defender Lindsay Burns used a heel pass to set up freshman midfielder Ashley York for the only goal of the match and the game-winner.
“Bri and Ashley combine well together,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “What a beautiful finish by Ashley York. I’m really proud of her today. She’s been coming out strong at the end of the season.”
Baylor started the game playing against unfavorable conditions by going against the wind, but adversity was nothing new to the Bears. The Cyclones outplayed the Bears in the first half, outshooting Baylor 10-8, holding a 4-1 edge in corner kicks and dominating the time of possession, but the defense held the Cyclones scoreless.
“The first half we came out and fought and it was back and forth,” Iowa State interim head coach Tony Minatta said. “We had our chances, but in the second half it was tough to break pressure and get out of our ends. We did give up a good goal, hats off to them.”
Baylor played aggressive despite the circumstances and had a couple of close shots in the first half. Senior midfielders Larissa Campos and Kat Ludlow each had shots, but Iowa State senior goalkeeper Maddie Jobe had a strong game finishing with five saves for the day.
While the defense made the plays it needed to make, junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss stopped two consecutive Iowa State corners. With help from the crossbar, the Cyclones third consecutive corner was unsuccessful and Baylor was able to hold on to a potential shutout.
After the half Baylor made some adjustments and with the wind on its side, the Bears continued to make plays. Baylor outshot Iowa State 8-2 in the second half and began to dominate the game.
Baylor almost scored in the 51st minute as Larissa Campos shot the ball from 25 yards out, but as it was flying over Jobe’s head, she jumped and tipped the ball off the crossbar. Baylor continued to be in attack mode and York finished it off.
The tables turned and Iowa State was faced with adversity down a goal. Iowa State continued to fight hard and continued to play well on defense. Iowa State had a couple of chances for a potential game winner, but it came up short.
“We had chance after chance at the end of that game to tie it up and that speaks of the character of this group,” Minatta said. “Just to get to the Big 12 tournament shows how much they wanted this and how much it meant to them.”
York has been the story late in the season. After scoring four goals early in the season, the opposing defenses kept York quiet, but after her game winner against Oklahoma State, York made her presence known.
“I had talked with some girls on the team and Marci and she was just like, just play with your instincts, don’t worry about anything else because it will all come naturally,” York said.
Baylor will have a tough task ahead by facing No. 1 West Virginia in the Big 12 Semi-Finals on Friday.
Baylor’s defense had one of its worst showings against the opportunistic Mountaineers team with senior forwards Frances Silva and Kate Schwindel providing West Virginia with a dynamic duo. Silva leads the Big 12 with 12 goals and 13 assists and Schwindel is second in the Big 12 with 11 goals.
The last time these two teams faced each other Baylor came back within reach after trailing 0-3, but lost 4-3 after sophomore defender Cari Price’s game winner. Baylor fought hard to come within one after a second half rally and it will need that type of rally again to pull away with a victory.
“It’s a decision that we’re going to give 100 percent all the time and that’s where they’re at right now,” Jobson said. “They know that if you lose you’re done and they wanna keep playing together.”
Baylor has momentum coming into the game after winning three straight games, but Kloss and the defense will have have a difficult task trying to stop WVU’s potent offense. Baylor will need to produce on offense and play disciplined soccer on defense because the margin for error is minimal.
West Virginia also has a stout defense led by Big 12 Defender and Newcomer of the Year Kadeisha Buchanan who allowed just 23 goals this season.