Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter
After defeating TCU 2-1 in overtime on Nov. 5, the soccer team became Big 12 Champions for the first time in 5 years.
“People always think of us as underdogs so we are always pumped for a game, ready for a game and ready to prove ourselves,” said sophomore forward, Raegan Padgett.
Having earned the chance to be one of the host sites for the first round of the NCAA Championship, the Bears will be kicking off the tournament by facing the Rice Owls at 5 p.m. today at the Betty Lou Mays Field.
“I think the teams are totally different. I know we are for sure,” said Paul Jobson, Baylor soccer head coach. “But we’ve got film on each other so there’s no surprises. It’s just a matter of getting back to work and making sure we get as healthy as we can after playing three games in five days.”
Being on the road all of last week, the team is happy to be back home with a Big 12 title preparing for their fourth time to host a first-round game.
“It’s really just been business as usual,” Jobson said. “Back to our normal routine and back to preparing for our next opponent.”
Meanwhile, players like Padgett are excited for what’s to come.
“We thought our last game at Betty Lou was in the past and was over with,” Padgett said. “Getting to come back here and host a game, for the first time I’ve ever even heard of hosting a NCAA game, is such an incredible opportunity.”
The winner of today’s match will advance to face either third-seeded USC or Eastern Washington next weekend in College Station.