By Jeffrey Swindoll
Packed out stands, fans garbed in their brand new Baylor soccer scarves and a perfect night of weather under the lights, the Bears played an overtime thriller in their third Big 12 Conference match of the season that disappointingly ended 1-1 Friday night at Betty Lou Mays Field.
Like they have done throughout the season at home, the Bears set the pace of the game with quick passes and long balls over the top of the midfield to set forwards in motion to test the TCU defense.
Baylor created chances down the sideline with the tandem of senior forward Justine Hovden and freshman forward Precious Akanyirige. It’s been a staple for the Bears this season to get goals, starting from the wing players and being finished off by the forwards in the goal box. Friday night was no different.
Junior midfielder Bri Campos beat her defender to the near post, and tucked in the cross in the six yard box. It was Campos’ second straight game getting on the score sheet for the Bears. The hard work of Hovden and Akanyrige paid off again and had the Bears leading 1-0 at Betty Lou Mays Field in the first half.
So far so good for the Bears, possessing the ball in the offensive third for most of the first half, but the game would take an unexpected turn in the first half that was going so well for the Bears. Senior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss had a few miscues on set pieces in the first half. The Bears defense did well to clear the ball though at the last second, keeping Kloss shutout in tact for a while. Kloss would pay later for her misjudgments in the box.
TCU leveled the score after Kloss came out too far and got caught in the mayhem of the goal box on another TCU set piece. Kloss ran out to punch the ball, but it was just out of reach. TCU headed the ball over the heads of all the Baylor defenders. The trajectory of the ball made it nearly impossible for Baylor to keep the Horned Frogs off the board on that play.
An entertaining first half from the two sides promised an exciting conclusion to the game. Kloss was at the center of attention again when the Horned Frogs looked like they were going to return home with a win in front of a massive crowd at Betty Lou Mays Field Friday night.
A penalty kick was awarded to the Horned Frogs short after the 80th minute mark. TCU just had to make a 12-yard spot kick one-on-one with Kloss to make this game all but over for the Bears at home. The game was far from over.
The crowd was loud just before TCU attempted the penalty kick. Like when the home crowd yells before the free throw for the away team, all the fans were in full strength to give the Bears any boost in a dire moment of the game. The fans did their job and Kloss did hers. TCU’s penalty kick smashed the crossbar, bounced in front Kloss who calmly collected the ball.
Baylor had the better quantity of chances in the match, outshooting the Horned Frogs in all four periods of the match, but TCU had their very threatening moments as well. The fans were treated to a physical, competitive match from both sides.