Soccer falls to West Virginia in Big 12 Championship final

Baylor senior midfielder Julie James gets up for the header against Oklahoma State on Oct. 12 at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field. The Bears fell 3-0 to West Virginia on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., in the Big 12 Tournament finals. Jason Pedreros | Multimedia Journalist

By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer

No. 9 Baylor soccer was held scoreless for the first time this season and finished the Big 12 Soccer Championship in second place after losing 3-0 to West Virginia on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo.

The first half of the match proved to be a defensive battle between both teams with four shots taken total through the first 30 minutes of the match. The first shot came in the ninth minute from West Virginia freshman midfielder Addison Clark who aimed at the goal from the top of the box but missed the target wide left. Baylor’s first shot came almost 20 minutes later in the match when senior midfielder Julie James lifted her strike over the crossbar.

Pressure from the offensive front of the Mountaineers continued to mount up for the Bears in the minutes following James’s shot, until finally the Mountaineers broke the draw with an own goal by Baylor. Mountaineer senior forward Sh’Nia Gordon pushed down the right of the Baylor box before crossing the ball into sophomore forward Lauren Segalla, but instead the ball found the foot of sophomore defender Sarah Norman who in an attempt to clear the ball, put the ball into the Baylor net.

With the own goal being the lone goal at the end of the first half, Baylor was still in the match. West Virginia had four shots through the first 45 minutes, while Baylor had two shots with neither goalie having to make a save.

The offense for the Mountaineers came out ready to capitalize on its momentum from the goal in the first half, finding their second in the 77th minute when West Virginia freshman forward Jordan Brewster shot on target but was blocked by sophomore keeper Jennifer Wandt which rebounded to senior defender Amanda Saymon who buried her shot inside the left post to put West Virginia up 2-0.

The win was secured for West Virginia on a counter attack where senior midfielder Nadya Gill gathered a pass to cross to Segalla in the box who knocked in her shot into the left side of the net in the 85th minute.

Baylor’s offense found five shots in the second half to total seven on the day but had only one shot on target from junior forward Camryn Wendlandt. West Virginia, on the other hand, had 15 shots in the second half alone, for 19 shots in the day with five on target.

Baylor head coach Paul Jobson said while the conference season may have ended in a disappointing way, the team still has talent to utilize to take it deep into the upcoming NCAA tournament.

“First, congrats to WVU on winning the championship,” Jobson said. “I am proud of our run to the final and now we must have a short memory and start preparing for a run in the NCAA tournament, which starts this weekend. Super proud of the resume we have built this season in preparation for the championship portion that is ahead of us.”

The Bears return to Waco to find out where they land in the postseason from the NCAA Championship Selection Show at 3:30 p.m. on Monday as they hope to host four home matches at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field. The first round of tournament play begins next weekend.

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