Story by Bailey Brammer | Broadcast Managing Editor, Video by Savannah Cooper | Broadcast Reporter
The No. 10-ranked Baylor women’s soccer team took on the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday evening at Betty Lou Mays Field and came away with a 1-0 win, as well as the Big 12 title for the first time since 1998.
An early score from junior forward Camryn Wendlandt in the first half gave the Bears (15-4, 8-1) the lead, and while the Sooners (7-9-2, 3-5-1) had several opportunities to score, they failed to convert.
Thursday’s game also marked Baylor’s Senior Night. The Bears honored nine seniors and graduates on their roster this year, including senior forward/midfielder Kennedy Brown, senior forward Jackie Crowther, senior midfielder Julie James, senior defender Sarah King, senior defender/forward Ariel Leach, senior forward Lauren Piercy, redshirt junior defender/midfielder Haley Foster, redshirt junior goalkepper Hannah Parrish and redshirt junior defender Kylie Ross.
Wendlandt said the team knew what was on the line and they wanted to do something special for the upperclassmen.
“I think that the whole team wanted this for the seniors,” Wendlandt said. “This hasn’t been done in 20 years. We have a really special group of girls, we have a lot of talent, and we have the mentality and heart that no other team has had.”
Junior forward Raegan Padgett had two early shots on goal in the second and seventh minutes of the game, Wendlandt put Baylor on the board with an assist from Brown for the first goal of the match.
The Bears had two more shots before the Sooners made their first shot on the goal in the 36th minute of the match. Oklahoma earned a corner kick, taken by senior midfielder Marissa McMahand, but one corner kick quickly turned into three as the Sooners struggled to convert and find the equalizer in the first half.
Similarly, the Sooners secured back-to-back corner kicks in the 60th minute, but could not follow through on either.
The Bears had two more shots in the following minutes: one from sophomore midfielder Ally Henderson in the 64th minute and a shot on goal from Padgett in the 66th minute that was caught by Oklahoma sophomore goalkeeper McKinley Crone.
Oklahoma junior forward Ivanna Rivas fired a shot on Baylor’s goal in the 76th minute but still could not convert. In the 84th minute, senior defender/midfielder Paige Welch earned Oklahoma another corner kick but the Sooners were unable to come out on top.
Brown said the Bears had to fight each and every game in order to achieve the title.
“It’s so surreal,” Brown said. “Last year we got tournament champs, this year it’s regular season and I feel like that just means so much more. We have to battle each week, every single week and every team is good in the Big 12. We don’t stop, we keep going, no matter what.”
Head coach Paul Jobson said he’s proud of his team and how they’ve performed this season, but he and the Bears are still looking forward to the rest of their season.
“We’re going to enjoy this for a bit, but we’ve got to leave at 10 in the morning, we’ve got a game on Sunday for the quarter-final Big 12 championship,” Jobson said. “That’s our next goal, is to win the Big 12 tournament championship, so if we can pull a double this year, and then we’ll worry about what’s next after that.”
The Bears head to Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday to compete in the Big 12 soccer championship. Opponents and times have yet to be released.