Defense propels soccer to win over Kansas State

Story by Adam Gibson | Sports Writer, Video by Julia Lawrenz | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor soccer took to a muddy pitch at the Highers Athletic Complex Football Practice Fields after a rainy week in Waco and defeated Kansas State 1-0 Friday night.

Head coach Paul Jobson said Betty Lou Mays Field was completely covered in water and the team is grateful it was able to play at the football practice fields because otherwise the game would’ve been cancelled altogether

“If we don’t play here, we don’t get the game in tonight, we don’t have anywhere else to play and our field was underwater,” Jobson said. “So I really appreciate [Baylor football head coach Matt Rhule] and the athletic department for giving us an opportunity to play here … We obviously would rather be at Betty Lou, but to have a backup like that, it’s a pretty nice backup.”

The Wildcats (4-10-2, 0-7) got their offense started early with junior forward Katie Cramer testing Baylor sophomore keeper Jennifer Wandt with the first shot on goal of the match, which Wandt saved. The Bears (13-4, 6-1) were not far behind on getting in on the offensive side of the ball with senior midfielder Kennedy Brown shooting on target in the 17th minute. Brown led the team in the first half with three shots, two of which were on target.

Sophomore defender Sarah Norman had a chance to create a scoring opportunity, taking a free kick from 10 yards inside the midfield line, but the Bears failed to score. The Baylor defense contained the Kansas State offense, keeping the Wildcats from getting any more scoring chances.

Baylor finished the first half with nine shots, five of which were on target. Kansas State had three shots, with only the first one being on target, while the other two sailed off target.

Coming back for the start of the second half, junior forward Camryn Wendlandt scored the first goal for the match after dribbling past defenders to net the goal over Kansas State sophomore keeper Emma Malsy who went to ground in attempt to block the shot just four minutes into the second half. Wendlandt said she has seen her talent progress this year and with the help of conference play has netted several goals.

“I’ve developed a lot as a player this year,” Wendlandt said. “Getting minutes last year helped me a lot in getting used to the Big 12 Conference because I didn’t come from this conference and I worked really hard in the spring, so it’s really cool to see all of that come to fruition.”

Wendlandt got another shot off just four minutes later, shooting from the top of the box to the right side of the goal where Malsy made a diving save to secure the shot.

Through 15 minutes of the second half, Kansas State had yet to get another shot off, while the Bears had gotten a total of six more, two of which were on target. Freshman midfielder Giuliana Cunningham received the first yellow card of the match after a tackle just outside the left of the Baylor box. The Wildcats found nothing on the free kick as Wandt came out of goal to grab the ball.

The Wildcats got their best chance of the match when senior forward Tatum Wagner dribbled to the middle top of the box, lining up a shot and firing it on the ground to the left side of the goal where Wandt kicked out her leg to make the deflection and keep the score at 1-0. Wandt said even though the

“Every game we’ve played is tight so this one really wasn’t anything new,” Wandt said. “We’re one up and we were in the lead so that always takes the pressure off of me.”

The game got physical late as, within a span of 10 minutes, eight fouls were committed with five minutes until the final whistle. After a couple late pushes from the Wildcats, the Baylor defense solidified the win for the Bears after a couple late shots on target. The win extended the Bears home win streak as they remain undefeated at home.

Wandt said even though the Wildcats continued fighting against the Bears’ defense, she felt comfortable knowing they had the lead and her experience with close matches this season has prepared her for this.

“Every game we’ve played is tight so this one really wasn’t anything new,” Wandt said. “We’re one up and we were in the lead so that always takes the pressure off of me.”

The Bears will hope to return to Betty Lou Mays Field at 2 p.m. Sunday to face Kansas.