By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
Baylor soccer kicks off their home conference schedule against rival TCU at 7 p.m. Friday at Betty Lou Mays Field for the Bears’ annual scarf night.
The first 500 fans will receive vouchers that can be redeemed at halftime for Baylor soccer themed scarves.
The Bears (7-4-0, 0-1-0) opened their Big 12 schedule with a 2-1 overtime loss to No. 11 Texas on Sept. 21 in Austin.
Baylor head coach Paul Jobson said the team’s first Big 12 match ended poorly, but showed how good the Bears can be.
“Going into it we knew Texas was ranked No. 11 in the country for a reason,” Jobson said, “but we walked off the field a little disappointed because, for a good portion of the game, we were the better team. At the end of the day we have to put away our chances and do some things better, but I think we can walk out of that weekend definitely feeling like we’ve got a great opportunity this year to compete really, really well at the top of the Big 12.”
The Bears led 1-0 at halftime and led the match in shots and shots on goal with 18 and six, respectively, despite the loss. Sophomore defender Sarah Norman said, looking back, the Bears held their own against a talented Texas squad.
“When you watch the film, I think we did a great job against Texas,” Norman said. “They’re a great team and we were able to control them and handle them very well. It was a tough loss, but I think it gave us a lot of confidence to go into this game knowing that we can play really well.”
Freshman forward Kayley Ables said Big 12 action is a different animal due to increased level of competition and talent.
“Definitely a different set of athleticism,” Ables said. “You’re playing against the biggest, fastest girls in the nation. Very few people get the chance to play D-I collegiate soccer, so it’s a big deal and it’s great. You get to step up to the occasion.”
The Bears now turn to the Horned Frogs, who are coming off a 0-1-1 opening weekend in their Big 12 schedule. TCU tied Iowa State 2-2 on Friday and lost to West Virginia 2-0 on Sunday.
Jobson said the Horned Frogs are a skilled and dangerous team despite their poor start to conference play.
“A very good team,” Jobson said. “Athletic, well-coached. They’ve had some success this year too. I know they’re coming off a tough weekend to start Big 12 play 0-1-1, but they’re a good team … It’s TCU-Baylor, so it’s not going to be hard for either one of us as coaches to get our teams up for this game.”
The Horned Frogs are led by freshman forward Maddy Warren, who has 12 points on the season with five goals, two assists and two game-winners. Senior defender Cachet Lue leads the team in minutes played with 1,032 minutes on the season while starting all 11 games for TCU.
Baylor senior midfielder Julie James leads the way for the Bears with 13 points on a career-high six goals. Junior forward Reagan Padgett has contributed four goals and three assists for 11 points on the season.
Following the matchup with TCU, the Bears will face Texas Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday in Lubbock. It will be the only time in conference play that the Bears play a home game on Friday and a road game on Sunday.
Ables said the schedule quirk isn’t a big deal because the team is used to adapting to new circumstances.
“It’s a little bit switched up,” Ables said. “Usually we have away games Friday and home games on Sunday but we’re pretty much ready for any sort of change. Whatever the schedule is, we can adapt very quickly.”