Battle tested Bears ready for Big 12

Freshman defender Halee Sowinski outruns Jackson State's offense to clear the ball on Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field. The Bears won 7-0. Photo Credit: Jessica Hubble

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

Baylor soccer rediscovered its offensive firepower with two huge wins last weekend against Washington and Jackson State. With the two wins, which included nine goals, the Bears have grabbed the momentum they were seeking heading into conference play.

Head coach Paul Jobson believes this is the mark of a mature and veteran team.

“Being able to put nine goals in the back of the net after a [previous] weekend where you don’t score any yet played really well and against really good teams, it showed our team’s determination,” Jobson said. “They can get the things done that they need to. They’re playing like a veteran team.”

After a non-conference schedule that saw Baylor finish 7-3-0, the battle-tested Bears now shift their attention to the Big 12 conference and their first conference opponent, the Texas Longhorns (6-3-0).

“This team has been through quite a bit,” Jobson said. “Our non-conference schedule was set up that way to prepare us for this time of year.”

Baylor who has been extremely effective with its ball control and aggressive offense this season will meet its counterpart tomorrow with the Longhorns.

Texas has only allowed seven goals thus far this season and teams are averaging only 2.7 shots on goal per game.

“They’re a quality team. They’re very well coached,” Jobson said. “They’ve got great athletes, they’ve got great speed, and some height. They’ve got some great results. It’s going to be a great match Friday night.”

With a defense that locks down on the top offensive players and shuts down offensive shot opportunities, Baylor will certainly look to its leading scorer, sophomore forward Lauren Piercy, to provide an offensive spark.

“She’s been great, she’s our goal scorer,” Jobson said. “Not only can she [score], but when she draws attention, we’ve got players that can do it as well.”

Piercy knows that the Longhorns are the first big test in conference but remains confident in the team’s ability to get the job done on the field.

“We’re feeling very confident, but I also think we know how hard conference is, and we know all the teams in conference are very good,” Piercy said. “You have to go in there with some confidence, but you also know that you have to work very hard going into each game.”

The Longhorns are led by sophomore forward Alexa Adams. Adams leads the Longhorn offense with five goals and two assists this season. Texas enters the contest with Baylor on a three game winning streak, however, Baylor won the matchup against the Longhorns last season in Austin , 2-1.

Despite the difficulties the Longhorns present, Jobson is confident that his team is up for the challenge.

“The main thing we tried to do is approach every game the same way so when you hit conference, you’ve got a pretty good regimen in order to face these types of teams,” Jobson said. “They’re definitely ready.”

The Longhorns and Bears battle 6 p.m. tonight at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.