Soccer sneaks past UTSA to remain undefeated

Baylor freshman center midfielder Ally Henderson advances the ball against two UTSA defenders. The Bears earned the victory 1-0. Photo Credit: Baylee VerSteeg | Lariat Photographer

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Baylor soccer defeated the University of Texas-San Antonio 1-0 Friday night to remain undefeated on the season.

The Bears (3-0-1) smothered the Roadrunners (1-3-0) on defense, allowing just one shot all game to their 23.

Freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt made her first start and appearance of the season, but she wasn’t needed much as UTSA rarely made it past the Baylor defenders.

“They’re amazing,” Wandt said of the defense. “I have a great backline and I’m blessed to be playing with them. If one sneaks by I hope that I can be there to stop it for them.”

Baylor had plenty of opportunities to get on the scoreboard early on, but could not convert.

In the fourth minute, the Bears had a quick look for a goal when sophomore forward Reagan Padgett crossed the ball for junior midfielder Julie James, but UTSA goalkeeper Michelle Cole made a diving save on James’ shot to keep the game scoreless.

The Bears received a corner kick in the fifth minute in which junior forward Jackie Crowther launched a shot straight to senior defender Precious Akanyirige who missed a header just over the net.

In the 12th minute, senior defender Caitlin Schwartz broke away from her defender on the right but missed wide left on a shot across the goal.

Crowther missed on a shot in the 17th minute and James misfired on a header two minutes later as the Bears searched for their first goal of the game.

Meanwhile, UTSA had difficulty getting the ball past Akanyirige, who stopped the Roadrunners’ possessions on multiple occasions when they crossed midfield.

Cole notched two more saves for UTSA on shots from freshman midfielder Ally Henderson and junior forward Lauren Piercy as the Bears failed to score in the first half.

At the break, Baylor had tallied 12 shots on goal to the Roadrunner’s zero.

Early in the second half, Baylor finally broke through.

In the 49th minute, Henderson launched a shot just over the fingertips of Cole and into the net as Baylor took a 1-0 lead.

Henderson said the game plan was to come out firing in the second half despite coming up empty in the first half.

“We got a good talking to from our coaches,” Henderson said. “We just kind of reevaluated how hard we were working. At halftime we said first ten minutes we’re going to put it away and so we did.”

Junior defender Sarah King had an open look at the goal in the 62nd minute but Cole tacked on another save, stifling King’s attempt.

Freshman defender Chelsea Jumratie was brought in during the second half to try to spark the offense. Jumratie, a corner kick specialist, leads the Bears in assists on the season with three.

Jumratie had a couple chances from the corner, but put the ball too long on both occasions as the Bears clung to a 1-0 lead.

With less than a minute left, Akanyirige launched the ball back to UTSA’s side of the field to thwart the Roadrunners last attempt to tie the game as the Bears won 1-0.

Despite the win, Baylor head coach Paul Jobson was not pleased his team’s offense and expects more from them moving forward.

“It was frustrating at times because we were having some pretty good looks,” Jobson said. “We’ve got to be more efficient. We’ve got to be able to put the ball away. 11 shots on goal. We score one out of 11 that’s not going to be good enough.”

The Bears will stay home to face Ball State at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Field.