By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer took one step closer to a Big 12 championship Wednesday night when it knocked off Oklahoma State 1-0 in its quarterfinal match.
The victory did not come without its challenges, the major one being the weather in Kansas City, Mo. The Bears and Cowgirls match was originally set for 8 p.m., but due to inclement weather and lightning, the match was pushed back to 10 p.m.
“I’m very proud of the effort tonight and getting the result we wanted,” said head coach Paul Jobson. “It was a tough match, especially with the delay, but we’ve had a few of those this year already, and our girls knew exactly how to handle it.
As for the game, the Bears came out the aggressor from the beginning. They squandered several early shot opportunities but took full advantage of a costly Cowgirl miscue.
In the 21st minute, sophomore forward Lauren Piercy was taken down by a Cowgirl defender inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Bears. Junior midfielder Aline De Lima was chosen to take the shot for Baylor and rose to the occasion, netting her fourth goal of the season.
“We came out sharp, earned an early penalty kick that Aline De Lima was able to put away and kept the pressure on all game,” Jobson said. “We’ll enjoy this for a few minutes and turn our focus to recovery and preparing for TCU on Friday night.”
Despite the early lead for the Bears, the Cowgirls refused to go down easily as they had several opportunities to score, but were unable to squeeze it by junior goalkeeper Sara Martinson.
The first scoring chance came with the game tied at zero early in the first half. Cowgirl sophomore Marlo Zoller blasted a shot with her left foot that sent Martinson diving to make the save. The second one came on a well-executed corner kick that was headed toward the post by senior midfielder Christina Jean-Charles. Martinson was able to deflect it off the crossbar and corral it finally before it crossed the goal line.
Baylor outshot Oklahoma State 14-8 for the match. The Cowgirls finish the season 9-8-3, while the Bears improve to 12-6-1 on the season.
Elsewhere in the tournament, West Virginia continued their dominance in the Big 12 with a 3-0 win over Texas Tech. They advance to take on Oklahoma, who earned a 2-0 win over Iowa State in the second match of the day.
Next up for Baylor will be the seventh seeded TCU Horned Frogs, who upset the second seeded Kansas University Jayhawks 1-0 earlier in the evening. Baylor defeated TCU 2-1 in Waco back on October 14.
“We can’t focus too much on the past so we’re just going to go in, work hard for each other and take it one game at a time,” sophomore midfielder Julie James said.
Baylor and TCU will square off in the second semifinal match of the day, as West Virginia and Oklahoma will kick off the action at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Bears and Horned Frogs will begin at 7 p.m.