Soccer wins conference opener

Junior defender Emory Cason successfully stops an Oklahoma State attacking player during the Bears’ conference opener on Friday at Betty Lou Mays Field. The Bears won 1-0. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

The Baylor Lady Bears Soccer team opened up play in the Big 12 conference strong by beating Oklahoma State 1-0 Friday night at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.

“This conference, it’s a new level, a new chapter. We have been preparing for this,” said Jackie Crowther, a freshman forward from Temecula, Calif. “It didn’t matter that it was the first conference game, it just mattered that it was this game.”

While struggling in the first half the Bears were still able to dominate by taking nine shots on goal to Oklahoma State’s three.

Going into the second half, the Bears looked to regroup, but still didn’t find a way to get the ball in the goal.

Ashley York, the midfield junior from Irving had various shots on goal but was unable to deliver. The teams offensive struggles didn’t keep her from fighting until the end, though.

“We are warriors, and we don’t back down from a fight ever,” York said. “Going forward, we are going to keep fighting, keep getting better in front of the goal.”

Both teams were scoreless at the end of the 90 minutes of regulation, The Bears remained focused going into overtime, where the first goal would end the game.

“Overtime is always a little nerve-racking,” said head coach Paul Jobson. “One goal and you’re done either way.”

The Bears possessed the ball more and produced better chances in the game.

Crowther was the difference maker for the Bears. With six minutes remaining in the first overtime, she gave the Bears the win with a goal goal, after being assisted by freshman midfielder Sarah King on the play.

However, Crowther said the win did not come because of the play she made, but because of the team’s overall effort throughout the game on Friday.

“Everyone was just going at it, pushing as hard as they could. We made possibilities happen,” Crowther said. “I just happened to get the last touch on it, and that’s just what we went out there and did today.”

King extended her lead in the Big 12 for most assists this season.

“It’s big-time,” Jobson said. “For a freshman to step up and take something on their shoulders, I thought she had a great night all night. She was going at players,and making opportunities. It fell for her tonight.”

“Going forward, we are going to keep fighting, keep getting better in front of the goal,” York said.

Jobson said he was proud of his team for earning a hard-fought overtime win, but also said it was just one game in a long season.

“Yeah, we’ve got one win, and it’s an important one,” Jobson said. “You always want to get the first one, and we will enjoy this tonight, and tomorrow we will focus on next week.”

“These girls are so determined, and so motivated right now with the season they’re having and the work they are putting in. As a coach, it’s kind of nice to not have to do a whole lot, just remind them of the basics, and let them go out there and do their job.”

The Bears hit the road for a Friday match against Iowa State at 7 p.m. Baylor looks to add onto its six-game winning streak.