By Greg DeVries
The Baylor women’s soccer team moved to 8-1-1 with a 2-1 overtime victory over the SMU Mustangs Friday night and a 5-0 victory over Houston Baptist on Sunday night.
Baylor and SMU traded goal-scoring opportunities for much of the first half. Both teams had plenty of set piece chances but couldn’t capitalize.
SMU floated the ball in front of the Baylor goal in the 28th minute towards a crowd of Mustang forwards and Baylor defenders. Sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Kloss was able to rise up over the crowd and punch the ball out of danger, much to the relief of the home crowd.
Senior midfielder Hanna Gilmore took on the defense by herself, put her head down and struck the ball toward the frame, only to have it hit the crossbar and sail over the goal.
“We started out the first 20 minutes very flat,” head coach Marci Jobson said. “I wasn’t happy with the first 20 to 30 minutes of the game. I made that clear at halftime. We didn’t play with soul…I think they turned that around [in the] second half.”
Baylor came out too strong to start the second half. It applied a lot of pressure and earned many chances on goal.
The Bears finally broke the tie in the 61st minute when junior forward Vic Hoffman earned her first goal of the year.
Hoffman was able to strike the ball from the corner of the 18-yard box. The ball beat the goalkeeper high and then snuck just under the crossbar.
“I just took a touch inside. It was kind of a shot, kind of a cross,” Hoffman said. “I don’t normally score, so it was pretty exciting.”
The Bears did not get complacent after their go-ahead goal. Baylor continued to keep the pressure high on the SMU defense throughout the game by serving dangerous passes in front of the Mustang goal.
SMU finally threatened the goal with about five minutes to go in the game. Kloss was able to punch the line-drive shot away to keep Baylor’s lead intact.
SMU sophomore forward Shelby Redman received a cross at the top of the six-yard box. She beat Kloss to the near side, and the game was tied up.
Nobody could score the go-ahead goal in three minutes, and the game went into overtime. NCAA rules say that the first to score in the overtime period wins the game. With this in mind, the teams took the field.
Finally, in the 107th minute, Gilmore settled the ball just outside of the 18-yard box, turned and had a go at goal. She beat the keeper to the far side, and the Bears won the game.
“I just got this feeling. It was like an out-of-body experience,” Gilmore said. “I just froze and shot it right there.”
Baylor’s game against HBU only lasted 70 minutes because the downpour made the field nearly unplayable.
In the first half, senior forward Dana Larsen scored two goals in the first six minutes of the game. Just before halftime, senior forward Michelle Hagen scored her first goal of the year to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
By the time the second half started, the field was mostly puddles. The difference in gameplay was very noticeable. Passes would stop in the water, and players would swing and miss because the ball was floating on top of the water.
Despite the swamp-like conditions, senior forward Lisa Sliwinski and sophomore forward Justine Hovden were both able to put a goal in the back of the net in the shortened second half.
The Bears will next travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners at 7 p.m. Friday.