By Parmida Schahhosseini
It took 475 minutes this season for No. 7 Baylor soccer to concede a goal, but the Bears came out on top against a high-powered Missouri offense with a 2-1 win on Friday.
The Tigers continuously put pressure on the Baylor defense, taking 16 shots compared to Baylor’s 10. Strong play from junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss allowed Baylor to keep the lead throughout the game.
“Michelle has done well,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “She’s done what she’s needed to do and she’s got a great defense in front of her as well.”
Kloss had six saves, matching the total she had in the previous four games. Baylor’s team defense was also a factor having four key blocks to prevent any potential scores. Coming into the game, Missouri attempted 74 shots and scored 14 goals in its last four games. Baylor’s defense and quality goalkeeping from Kloss kept the Missouri offense in check.
“As a goalkeeper it feels like I get credit for shutouts and the great seasons, but obviously it’s a whole team effort,” Kloss said. “It’s the defense in front of me. A lot of times I don’t have to do anything because they are such a great defense and all the way up to midfields and forwards as well. It’s a whole team effort.”
As Baylor continues to face tougher opponents throughout the season, the defense will have to rely on Kloss more and so far Kloss has been up to the challenge.
The Bears tied a program record with a 5-0-0 start, which is the best start during the Jobson era. Baylor’s confidence coming into the game has been high since finding its offensive identity.
“I think our determination has just grown exponentially just over the years,” senior midfielder Kat Ludlow said. “We had a great start and we want to continue that. We just want to come into every game with the fight that we practice with everyday. Everybody has bought into the team and we just want to do the best we can.”
The Bears team approach to scoring continued as players stepped up during critical parts of the game. Ludlow’s aggressiveness on the field helped lead to the first goal of the game when senior midfielder/forward Alex Klein scored off a corner kick by sophomore forward Bri Campos.
“Kat is such as great leader and she is probably one of the best ball winners in the country,” Jobson said. “She physically sets the tone for our team and it’s been great to see her.”
Missouri continued to play physical soccer, as junior midfielder Taylor Grant’s shot was saved by Kloss 23 seconds into the second half. After the two teams exchanged shots, junior forward Natalie Huggins finally put one in the net when she shot from the left corner to the right side netting from six yards out.
With this 2-1 win over Missouri, Baylor’s unbeaten streak extends to 26 games and the Bears have not lost in 377 days. Baylor hopes to continue yet another streak by earning a 13th straight road win against Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Sunday at Ellis Field in College Station.