Kloss anchors defense for No. 11 Bears

Baylor soccer beat Boise State 2-0 at Betty Lou Mays Field on Sunday, September 22, 2013.  Travis Taylor | Lariat Photo Editor
Baylor soccer beat Boise State 2-0 at Betty Lou Mays Field on Sunday, September 22, 2013.
Travis Taylor | Lariat Photo Editor
By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

Despite being overshadowed by Baylor’s team defense, junior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss is making strides toward becoming an elite goalie.

With her team behind her, Kloss pursues her passions on and off the field. As a health science major, physical fitness is a big part of life. Growing up, she participated in many sports, but soccer always called her name.

“The love for the sport and the love for the team,” Kloss said. “I couldn’t imagine giving up soccer right now. I love it too much to stop playing.”

Winning isn’t foreign to Kloss, who led Cypress Creek High School to three straight district title and was named Defensive District MVP in 2010. In 28 games Kloss had a 0.59 goals against average to go with her 15 shutouts in 28 games. Since then, she has continued to transition her talent to the collegiate level with a big year in 2012. Kloss led the Big 12 with a 0.55 goals against average and only allowed 14 goals. With this production, her teammates are confident that she can get the job done.

“I have gained a huge amount of confidence in the way that she plays,” senior midfielder Kat Ludlow said. “She’s grown so much since freshman year and I think she makes the most incredible saves. The ball will go to the top of the net and she hits it over that perfect time and she has an amazing kick. I really trust her behind us.”

As an integral part of Baylor’s team defense, Kloss continues to put her teammates before herself. The team motivates Kloss to do better because she understands that her play alters the team.

Kloss continues to stay grounded and selfless.

Through hard work and determination, Kloss has gained the respect of her teammates. Kloss has only allowed one goal this season and is 2-for-2 on penalty kick saves this season. With a 0.958 save percentage and 0.11 goals against average, the team is confident that the job will get done.

“Klossy is absolutely amazing,” sophomore defender Anjadai Seals said. “It’s great to always look back there and know that she has my back and I have hers. When it comes down to it, I know that she’s going to make the save.”

Before games Kloss can be seen listening to music and writing inspirational quotes on her gloves. Team devotionals allow her to have the right mindset before games. Kloss is the ultimate team player as she puts the team before herself. While her mother may be her role model off the field, the team is her role model on the field.

“It’s the girls competing beside me each day pushing me to be better,” Kloss said. “They are the ones that inspire me to keep going each day.

Since she was a child, soccer has been a big part of her life and she jumped on the chance to join club teams when the opportunity arose.

As a child she would look up to former U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Briana Scurry, in hopes of surpassing her. With a trip to the Elite Eight slipping right through her fingertips, Kloss used the summer to improve her game.

“Michelle has done a really good job,” Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson said. “She trained hard this summer. She really needed to make some big improvements over the summer and she really did those things.”

Kloss is determined to set the standard high and to play at her best on every play.

With hopes of surpassing the success of last year, Kloss continues to work hard as she continues to pursue her passion. She has gained the trust of her teammates and her coaches.

“I’m very confident in Michelle or she wouldn’t be our starting player, who plays all the time,” Jobson said. “I’m very confident in her and she has come up with some big saves last year. I feel really good about her leadership back there. ”