y Jeffrey Swindoll
Soccer players are known usually for their egos. Whether it’s a goal or assist, they expect you to give them the credit for it all; no one else. This has long been a stereotype of soccer stars and an issue for many teams trying to form chemistry.
Baylor soccer is one of the rare cases. Baylor soccer co-head coaches Marci and Paul Jobson have established and nurtured a program geared towards making the team itself the true star of the show.
After the Bears’ 2-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday, there was some arguing on the field between two Baylor players. In the second half of that game, junior midfielder Bri Campos shot the ball within close range of the goal. The ball went in off of Campos’ shot, but it was unclear whether junior forward Sarah Moghadas got a touch on the ball before it crossed the goalline or not.
Campos and Moghadas were fighting over whom would get credit for the goal, but each took an unexpected stance for the debate. Surprisingly, Campos said it was Moghadas’ goal, and Moghadas said the contrary. It wasn’t much of argument after all. Rather, it was a gesture of generosity between the two and playful celebration of the teamwork that it took to get the goal.
“That’s what the team is all about– giving credit to others, trying not to be selfish,” Moghadas said. “As hard as that is sometimes, that’s what our team fundamental is.”
The goal eventually was awarded to Campos, who currently leads the team in goals, but a positive message was sent throughout the team from the way Campos and Moghadas handled the ‘controversy’ after the match.
This was only the most recent display of selflessness throughout the 2014 season that reveal a sentiment that Moghadas said is consistent throughout the Bears’ locker room.
“It’s such a family feel to the whole team,” senior forward Justine Hovden. “Nobody would be scoring without our incredible defense, you know. You can’t win games without shutting teams out. It’s a full team effort, and whoever gets the goal is not necessarily the player of the game. There’s so much more to it than that.”
Senior forward Alexa Wilde has said multiple times in the season that she is always amazed by the humble attitudes of her teammates. The recent incident with Campos and Moghadas greatly impacted her and is something she truly admires about the players, Wilde said.
The Bears encouraged each other even after some of their toughest losses this season, including a 1-0 loss to Kansas at home in the Big 12 opener. There were no signs of frustration or bickering amongst the players after the hard-to-swallow result.
From the start of their tenure here, the Jobsons’ gameplan for the Bears has always been about making a team that works as a whole. Tactically speaking, star power is secondary, Paul Jobson said.
“Trying to build this group as a unit is something we’ve been intentional about from day one,” Paul Jobson said. “Everybody has a role. Whether you’re sitting on the bench or playing 90 minutes. You’re either giving to the team or you’re taking away.”
The feeling is contagious and the momentum is swinging right now for the Bears. Baylor soccer sees its unique bond and togetherness as a definite plus going forward this season.