By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer heads out on its second road trip of the season to take on Arizona State at 5 p.m. Friday and Arizona at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The Bears (4-2) are coming off a 6-0 win over Nebraska which handed the Cornhuskers their second loss of the season. Head coach Paul Jobson said it was an important game to win coming off the road and then preparing for another road trip this upcoming weekend.
“Coming off an emotional game on Friday at Arkansas — just a fantastic atmosphere there — and then be able to come home and somewhat replicate it at home for our girls with our fans was awesome,” Jobson said. “It was a big time kind of momentum shift for us. We’d learned a lot in the previous games and I think we showed a lot of that on Sunday.
The Sun Devils, like the Bears, are coming off a shutout victory in which they defeated Southeast Missouri, 4-0, Sunday night. The offense for Arizona State managed to get 24 shots off, 10 being on target. Jobson praised the Sun Devils because they’re “traditionally a very good team” and “one we’ve seen in the NCAA tournament in the past.”
In its win over Nebraska on Sunday night, Baylor’s defense held the Cornhuskers to only five shots on goal, none of which reached the back of the net. Even though the back line may have several younger players, junior defender Danielle Hayden said they are clicking well early on.
“It is really fun to see,” Hayden said. “Coming together quickly is important for us because we are going to get into conference play soon, so that’s going to be really important for us. There kind of is no time to waste, so each and every day you have to get better as a team.”
Arizona State has scored eight goals in just three games so far this season. Jobson said that playing this team and having a back line that has good chemistry is important.
“I’ve just been really happy with what they’ve been able to do. The goals that we’ve given up haven’t been because we have a young back line, so to speak. It’s been sometimes team defense and things we’ve had to learn,” Jobson said. “I’ve been really happy with how our backs have been playing.”
The University of Arizona has played two more games than Arizona State and is currently on a four-game win streak heading into a match against Boise State on Friday night. Having already played multiple ranked opponents, Jobson said the non-conference schedule is helping to ready the Bears for the tough Big 12 season ahead.
“It’s great, especially when you can get some victories out of it,” Jobson said. “Arizona is a top 25 team right now doing really, really well. [They are a] really organized and very athletic team. They’re doing a great job in their matches so far. I think this team is ready for it. We’ve been able to make some key adjustments really early in our season this year.”
The Bears will see if those adjustments continue to work throughout the road trip Saturday at 5 p.m. when they take on the Sun Devils in Tucson, Ariz.