By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer kicked off Big 12 home play against the Horned Frogs Friday night at Betty Lou Mays Field where Baylor pulled out a 1-0 win.
Head coach Paul Jobson said every win is a big win in conference play, especially in a back-and-forth matchup like tonight.
“Three points in the Big 12 is really hard to come by, but we were able to gut that one out,” Jobson said. “There times that, you know the game wasn’t going our way and there were times that the game was going our way but, I think we controlled our destiny in that match and played through every little detail that was presented to us tonight.”
In front of a packed crowd of 1373 people, both defenses were out to prove themselves as each team was coming off a loss and that showed through the first 15 minutes of the game with each team only having one shot.
The Bears shot came off a shot from junior forward Camryn Wendlandt 12 minutes in when she found the keeper off her mark and aimed for goal, but the shot went just wide right of the net. TCU’s lone shot came from just outside the box by Messiah Bright, but was blocked before reaching Baylor sophomore keeper Jennifer Wandt.
The next best shot came from a through ball that junior forward Raegan Padgett just beat TCU sophomore keeper Emily Alvarado to the ball and attempted to get the shot past her, but Alvarado went to ground and made the save. The Bears did not let up on Alvarado when in the 27 minute, senior defender Ariel Leach crossed the ball into the box to Wendlandt who struck the ball out of the air to the left side of the net, but Alvarado made a leaping save to keep the score level.
The first half came to a close after the Baylor offense seemed to find it’s rhythm with seven shots, six of which were on target, forcing Alvarado to make six saves compared to the lone shot on target by TCU Wandt had to save. Wandt said while she may not have been too busy with making saves, she is still getting in the game by calling out to her teammates to help them throughout the game.
“It’s a game of where there can be a lull for 85 minutes and then in the 86th I’ll have to make a save but that’s just the job of being a goalie,” Wandt said, “and I’m happy that … but I’m happy I could be there for my team when they needed me … I’m talking to the back line and the mid fielders the whole time so if I wasn’t doing that it would be hard, but I’m staying engaged by just talking to them and helping them out and telling them where to go.”
One stat line sticking out was the number of fouls between the teams with fourteen between the two teams, showing just how physical the game had been. The game with 25 total fouls, Baylor with 12 and TCU with 13. Wendlandt said while the game was physical, you have to maintain your emotions to keep the game from getting away from you.
“You just have to realize that it’s a soccer game and you can’t let the other team emotionally beat you up because we keep our purpose steady,” Wendlandt said. “Whether the game is steady and it’s a high or it’s a low, our purpose is the same which is to glorify Christ through the way we play.”
Just as the first half began, neither offense was able to able to get anything going through the first 13 minutes, with the only save coming from Wandt after a shot came straight to her from the left side of the box by senior midfielder Karitas Tomasdottir.
Baylor was the first to break through after the ball bounced around in the TCU box and came out of the crowd to find Wendlandt, who dribbled to the left side of the box for a clear shot on goal to nutmeg Alvarado for her first goal of the season. TCU responded with its own shot from outside the box with a shot that went just over of the crossbar from senior midfielder Kayla Hill.
In the 66th minute, Jobson was the first of the game to receive a yellow card, after arguing a call at the ref after a hard tackle in the box by a TCU defender went without a penalty. Eleven minutes later, sophomore midfielder Yazmeen Ryan received the first yellow card among the players after tackling a defender in the Baylor box. TCU head coach Eric Bell was soon to follow and received a yellow after yelling about the call.
Padgett got her first shot off in the game in the 84th minute off a through ball from senior forward Kennedy Brown led her into the box, but Alvarado yet again came out of goal to block Padgett’s shot.
The Bears defense held strong, closing out the match without allowing a goal due to six saves from Wandt to shut out the Horned Frogs. Wendlandt finished the match with six shots, four on goal and the one goal of the match. Jobson said there were many different looks she had and while she did not score every one, she scored a big goal for the team.
“Goal scorers, they’re going to score one out of every six or seven opportunities and she has been good with that and scored in a ton of different ways and tonight I think was a scrap goal for her just getting on the end of it,” Jobson said. “We’ve worked on that a little bit this week knowing that that might be the only opportunity we get, and we got to commit one hundred percent to those opportunities … some of the ones we missed against UT were similar opportunities but I was proud of her to be able to put that away this time.”
After securing their first Big 12 win on the season before heading to Lubbock to face Texas Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday, Wandt and the Bears know just how much drive that can bring moving forward.
“Any Big 12 win is a big win and to get our first Big 12 win at home on scarf night is a huge win and now we’re on the road for our next three games. It’s good momentum going on the road,” Wandt said.