By Daniel Wallace
After finishing the regular season and the Big 12 Championship with a 14-3-3 record, the Baylor soccer team will host the Texas State Bobcats (14-5-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Betty Lou Mays Field in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
This is the first time the Bears have made the NCAA tournament since 1999. The Bears defeated the Bobcats, 2-0, on Sept. 9 at Betty Lou Mays Field.
This marks the third time in the history of the Baylor soccer program that it has earned the bid to play in the NCAA tournament after finishing third in the Big 12. The team earned an at-large bid to play in the tournament, which consists of 64 teams.
“It’s kind of like when you are waiting for Christmas or waiting for something, you just get sick of waiting,” head coach Marci Jobson said. “It’s just good to now know who we are going to play, to know the date and move on with it.”
Jobson said she was glad her team received an NCAA tournament bid for another, more personal reason.
“I was nervous because I told the girls’ I’d shave my head if we didn’t get a bid,” she said.
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Seelhorst said she was ecstatic, not only that the Bears’ season will progress, but that they have the opportunity to play in front of their home crowd once again.
“The fact that we are not even having to go anywhere and it’s going to be here is so exciting,” she said. “Just to get a chance to play at home is going to be great.”
Junior midfielder Hanna Gilmore said the fact that the Bears will be playing in the same field as the best teams in the nation speaks volumes of the program and how far it has come.
“It’s awesome we are finally getting some type of recognition for all the hard work that we’ve put in,” Gilmore said. “It’s just really cool to see our team making steps to being such a great team.”
The soccer team hosted an NCAA Watch Party at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Stone Room in the Ferrell Center.
If Baylor win its matchup, it will play the winner of the North Carolina (11-5-1) vs. William & Mary (17-2-2) matchup on Nov. 18, in Gainesville, Fla.