Soccer hosts Oklahoma State in conference home finale

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

Baylor (8-5-3, 1-4-1) will play its last regular season home game against Oklahoma State (6-3-6, 1-1-3) at 7 p.m., today at Betty Lou Mays Field.

“They’re a good team,” freshman defender Lindsay Burns said. “They’re very physical, but besides that they are just another team that we have to go out and play hard against.”

The Cowgirls are currently riding a five game unbeaten streak whereas the Bear are coming into the game on a six game winless streak. Baylor hopes to snap that streak with a win this weekend to give the team momentum for its last road game on Nov. 1 and the upcoming Big 12 Tournament. Despite the losses, Baylor isn’t ready to give up yet.

“Sure losses will get your down, but it also shows what you’re made of too,” Baylor co head coach Marci Jobson said. “I think the girls are gonna stand up and play hard. They’ll go for the win and do the very best they can and I believe I’ve got a group of girls that can have a lot of guts so I’m not waiving the white flag yet.

Oklahoma State has been consistent this year and has fared well against ranked opponents. Baylor will need to contain freshman forward Courtney Dike, who has scored 11 goals this season. If Baylor can shut down the Cowgirls main offensive weapon, it has a good shot to win the game. Additionally, Baylor will also need to focus on keeping the whole team in check because other players can potentially score if Baylor isn’t careful. Other underclassmen have stepped up for Oklahoma State in addition to Dike. Sophomore midfielder Allie Stephenson also gives Oklahoma State offensive production with her five goals. Sophomore midfielder Madison Mercado leads the team with four assists.

Baylor has been competitive in its losses, but minor mistakes have turned into goals. On multiple occasions the Bears would outplay its opponent, but would come out empty handed. Baylor will need to be focused and limit breakaways on defense. Oklahoma State has the ability to capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes. The Cowgirls are susceptible to give up shots, giving up 239 compared to the 180 shots it has taken this season, but Oklahoma State comes up with a way to win.

Baylor’s defense has still produced by limiting shots. Mental mistakes aside, the defense has been solid allowing the Bears to stay in the game. The offense has struggled to produce any goals leading to its opponents shutting out Baylor three games in a row. Baylor’s accuracy and ability to finish has been the problem because the team is generating shots. Sophomore forward Bri Campos leads Baylor with five goals and freshman midfielder Ashley York and junior forward Natalie Huggins have scored four apiece.

Oklahoma State’s defense has been suspect as it’s prone to give up goals. From 2006-2011, the Cowgirls led the conference in shutouts five times. However, this year it ranks last in the Big 12 with three shutouts. The Cowgirl’s ability to score has reduced the problem.

It will be important for Baylor to protect its home field. The Cowgirls have only lost one road game this season against a non-conference opponent. With the Big 12 tournament two games away, both teams will be ready to snatch a win.

“We both show up to fight and they’re a good team,” senior midfielder Kat Ludlow said. “They’ve always been very good. I’m excited for the game.”