By Daniel Wallace
The Baylor soccer team played two games this weekend in Louisville, Ky., and returned to Waco with one win and one loss. On Friday, the Bears (4-1-1) used three second-half goals to fly past Louisville (1-3-1), 3-0. In Sunday’s match against Kentucky, the Bears fell 2-1, despite outshooting the Wildcats (5-0-0), 20-9.
Friday’s win kept the Bears undefeated in the first five games for the first time since 2009. It was also the first time since 2007 that the team had four wins in the first five games. Sunday’s game was a match-up against two undefeated teams, but the Wildcats prevailed. Overall, head coach Marci Jobson said she was pleased with the team’s performance this weekend.
“I thought we did great,” she said. “I thought we had a really good weekend. It’s just a tale of two different games…. Friday we finished all of our chances and scored and played very well. Sunday we played really well but didn’t finish our chances and gave up a set piece goal in the end. We dominated the game and we just didn’t win.”
On Friday night, the Bears went into halftime tied scoreless against the Cardinals. Freshman forward Natalie Huggins said the team came out of halftime wanting to prove themselves and “put them away early.” In the 47th minute, just the second minute of the second half, the freshman started the scoring on a shot that beat the keeper to the far post from 12 yards out. The goal came on assist from senior midfielder Bethany Johnston.
“It was a great ball by Beth,” Huggins said. “Basically, there were just some holes in the defense we could see. She played the perfect ball in; it was easy to score off that. Basically, I found the hole and beat the keeper and got it in.”
Junior midfielder Lisa Sliwinski’s header made it 2-0 in the 68th minute. With two minutes left, fellow junior midfielder Hanna Gilmore knocked in a header of her own to seal the 3-0 victory.
On Sunday, the Bears found themselves heading into halftime tied once again. The Wildcats struck first but in the 27th minute, freshman forward Justine Hovden notched her second goal of the season. In the second half, the Bears outshot the Wildcats 15-2, including five shots in the final five minutes. But one of the two shots Kentucky took in the second fell in; Arin Gilliland scored on a header off a corner kick in the 84th minute. Senior goalkeeper Courtney Seelhorst said that the team had many chances in the second half to come away with the victory, but the shots just would not go in.
“I think it was more that we weren’t able to capitalize on our shot opportunities,” she said. “We played good, came out, and were fighting. I think they just weren’t falling. We had our chances and it just didn’t happen.”
Coach Jobson summed up the weekend saying it was typical of the way soccer sometimes goes. “They are doing the right things,” she said. “When you play good teams, sometimes you are going to win; sometimes you are going to lose.”
The Bears will host Texas State on Friday and North Texas on Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.