By Greg DeVries
The No. 14 Baylor women’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the Big 12 tournament with a 3-0 win over the Oklahoma State Cowgirls Wednesday night. The Bears will next take on Texas Tech on Saturday in San Antonio. All four Texas teams, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and TCU, advanced to the second round.
Senior forward Dana Larsen finished with two assists and a goal. In Baylor’s first meeting with Oklahoma State, the teams tied 0-0, even though the Bears outshot the Cowgirls 25-6.
Despite going scoreless against the Cowgirls in their first game, the Bears got on the board early. Less than 10 minutes into the game, Larsen had an open field to carry the ball towards the goal. After beating one defender, Larsen played a through ball into the middle behind the defense. Senior forward Lisa Sliwinski beat Oklahoma State goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to the ball and buried it in back of the net.
Larsen recorded her second assist of the night just a few minutes later. Larsen dribbled the ball into the 18-yard box along the end line. She crossed the ball into the middle where junior midfielder Vic Hoffman was waiting. Hoffman redirected the ball into the back of the net from about six yards away and the Bears took a 2-0 lead.
Despite having a comfortable lead, Larsen recorded a goal of her own with 30 minutes left in the first half. Larsen found space up the middle of the field again. As she approached the 18-yard box, Larsen ripped a shot toward the far side of the goal. Franch reached and missed, and Baylor’s lead extended to 3-0.
With that goal and Sliwinski’s, the two are tied for fourth all-time on Baylor’s top scoring list. Oklahoma State threatened a goal with 25 minutes to go in the half. One shot got by sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Kloss, but the ball hit the post and was cleared to about 30 yards out. Oklahoma State responded immediately with another shot, but Kloss was able to corral the ball and end the threat on goal.
The Bears defended well and cruised to halftime with their 3-0 lead still intact. Baylor didn’t completely take its foot off the gas in the second half, but it did focus more heavily on the defense. The Bears hung on for the remaining 45 minutes to earn the shutout win.
Baylor did beat Texas Tech this season in Lubbock, but it took the team two overtimes to get the job done. The winner will advance to the Big 12 Championship game on Sunday.