By Daniel Wallace
In a game where there figures to be some bad blood, the Bears (9-2-1) will host the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-3-1) at 7 p.m. today at Betty Lou Mays Field. The Bears are eager to play the Red Raiders, as memories from the day they played Texas Tech in Lubbock last year loom.
Twenty minutes before the game kicked off, they were notified they would not qualify for the Big 12 tournament, regardless of their performance during the game. The Bears won that last game of the season 1-0 despite this news.
The team went into that game wanting to ruin Tech’s season, since they knew it would be the last time Baylor takes the field, whether they won or not. Junior midfielder Lisa Sliwinski said that game was a huge battle and is fully aware that the Red Raiders “hate” the Bears on the soccer field. She says she is excited to see how Tech will respond in this game and figures it will be an intense contest.
“They are very hard-nosed and tough,” she said. “They like to battle, which we have a reputation for as well. They have a lot of powerful players instead of the crafty, ticky-tacky players.”
Head coach Marci Jobson said the Red Raiders can pass well and are aggressive. She said they have been “crushing” teams lately. That observation is proved by two 5-0 victories over Arizona State and Northern Arizona already this season. All seven of Tech’s wins have been by the way of a shutout. The Red Raiders are led by sophomore forward Jessica Fuston, who has a team-high five goals this season. Another threat Jobson says sees on their squad is senior midfielder Taylor Lytle.
“I think they have the best forward in the Big 12 in Taylor Lytle,” she said. “She’s a difference makers. She’s very hard to stop. Carlie Davis will have her hands full with Lytle. It will be the best player she plays against this season.”
Jobson said it is imperative that the team gets better on offensive set pieces. She said in the two games the team played last weekend, the Bears had plenty of corner kick opportunities but could not convert any of the chances into scores.
In Sunday’s game against Weber State, Baylor took 20 shots and had one score. Jobson said the team must perform better on set pieces because she does not expect near that many chances to put a goal in.