By Greg DeVries
The No. 24 Baylor soccer team split the two games on its California road trip this weekend. The Bears won at Cal State Northridge on Friday night 2-1. Baylor then traveled to No. 15 Long Beach State and lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in overtime.
The road trip did not start off well for Baylor. Six minutes into the contest, junior defender Selby Polley stuck her leg out to deflect a shot only to have the ball ricochet off her foot and into the Bears’ goal.
“The own goal was completely unlucky, and there was nothing we could do about it except respond,” head coach Marci Jobson said. “My girls showed unbelievable resolve in the fact that they continued to fight and even stepped it up another notch.”
Eventually Baylor got into rhythm. In the 30th minute, junior defenders Taylor Heatherly and Kat Ludlow connected to even the score. Heatherly sent a free kick from midfield into the box where Ludlow was able to find the back of the net. This was Ludlow’s second goal of the season, both of which came from set pieces.
The Matadors came out hot in the second half. Cal State Northridge’s leading scorer Stephanie Galarze was able to direct a strong shot towards the goal, but sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Kloss came up with the stop.
Junior midfielder Larissa Campos crossed a free kick toward frame in the 65th minute and hooked up with senior forward Dana Larsen, who headed the ball past the goalkeeper to give Baylor the 2-1 advantage.
Baylor was able to hang on and earn the victory. This moved the Bears to 3-0 on the season.
“I am proud of Dana to get the game winner as she came back from a rough first half and stepped her game up to another level,” Jobson said.
“We scored on two great set piece goals, which we have been working hard on. Our team defense was outstanding, and I am proud of the team’s resiliency.”
After 45 minutes against No. 15 Long Beach State, the Bears went into the locker room tied with the 49ers 0-0.
In the second half, Larsen notched her second goal of the road trip and second goal of the season. Heatherly sent a long free kick into the box and Larsen finished with her head, giving the Bears the 1-0 advantage.
“Dana had an awesome header, after making a great run,” Jobson said.
Long Beach state responded quickly. A 55-yard free kick from a 49er defender evened the score at 1-1 in the 64th minute.
Ludlow nearly recorded her third goal of the year in the 71st minute, but her shot hit the crossbar and was cleared out of danger.
The 49ers scored about two minutes into overtime to earn the victory. The cross came about six yards in front of the Baylor goal. 49er Eileen Maes headed the ball past Kloss and into the net.
“We showed unbelievable character and resolve today,” Jobson said. “I am proud of my team in every way. If we continue to play with that heart, we will have a great season.”
With that loss, the Bears move to 3-1 on the season. Baylor will next take on Nebraska at home at 7 p.m. Friday.