Baylor soccer stumbles in final weekend

Freshman forward Raegan Padgett battles against Kansas Jayhawks defender to reach the ball first on Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field. The Bears lost 3-1. Photo credit: Timothy Hong | Lariat Photographer

Baylor soccer dropped its final two Big 12 matches of the regular season over the weekend – First, a 1-0 heartbreaker on Friday night to Iowa State and then a 3-1 decision against Kansas on Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, the Bears battled for 102 minutes before sophomore forward Klasey Medelberg powered one to the back of the net, ending the marathon match.

“You have to give credit to Iowa State. They’re a good team, a tough team. We knew that coming in and we knew they weren’t going to quit or back down,” said head coach Paul Jobson. “It didn’t matter how many shots we had or misses we had; they were in the game until the very end.”

Baylor opened the game strong and in attack mode. The Bears dictated the pace of the match as well as ball possession on their way to nine first-half shots, including five on goal. Sophomore midfielder Sarah King had three scoring opportunities that were just a bit off or that were denied by junior goalkeeper Lindsey Hendon.

“We had so many shots on goal. We had the chances, they just didn’t fall our way tonight,” King said. “It’s motivation for the next game, and moving forward those chances will eventually fall.”

The opportunities didn’t come quite so easily in the second half, as the Cyclones elevated the intensity and pressure on defense, limiting the Bears to only one shot in the second half. However, Baylor had several corner kicks in the first extra period that nearly ended the game if not for a late deflection and stellar play from Hendon.

“Their goalkeeper played great; she had some fantastic saves,” Jobson said. “A lot of credit to Iowa State. They know how to pull out wins, and they did tonight.”

Unfortunately for Baylor, Sunday’s result proved to be no better as they fell to the Jayhawks 3-1 in their final regular season game at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.

“Playing Baylor is always a battle, and today was no different,” Kansas head coach Mark Francis said on Kansas’ official athletic website. “I didn’t think we played particularly well, but we really grinded [sic] it out, especially late in the second half.”

The match was fast paced and well-contested from the very beginning. The Jayhawks got on the board first when freshman defender Addysin Merrick scored on a free kick in the 22nd minute, giving Kansas a 1-0 lead.

That lead would last less than 10 minutes. After a handball pentalty by the Jayhawks in their own box, sophomore forward Lauren Piercy scored her seventh goal of the season on the ensuing penalty shot, evening the score at one apiece.

The score would remain tied at one until the Jayhawks tacked on two goals to put away the Bears in the final 12 minutes of the match. The first one came in the 79th minute on senior forward Ashley Pankey’s goal to the far post. Two minutes later, senior midfielder Jackie Georgoulis scored from nearly the same spot, icing the match for the Jayhawks.

“I didn’t think we were sharp,” Jobson said. “I think a lot of the game was kind of back and forth, but they capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t, and that’s really the difference in the game.”

With the win, Kansas improved to 9-4-4 overall, 4-1-2 in Big 12 play, as they head into their final match against Iowa State on Oct. 28.

Baylor now has a bye week before the team travels to Kansas City to participate in the Big 12 championships Nov. 2 to 6.