Story by Bailey Brammer | Broadcast Managing Editor, Video by Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter
The No. 2-seeded Baylor soccer team defeated Vanderbilt 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.
Vanderbilt struggled against Baylor’s aggressive offense, and although the Commodores found an early equalizer, they ultimately could not convert and take the lead.
Baylor head coach Paul Jobson said while the Bears slowed down a bit offensively in the first half after their first goal, the defense held firm and the whole team stepped up after halftime.
“I thought, defensively, we did a great job,” Jobson said, “Shutting out the goal they scored … We did a better job tracking and making that midfield a little more compact.”
The Bears made it on the board quickly with a header from freshman midfielder Giuliana Cunningham on a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Ally Henderson in the fifth minute. Henderson made another corner kick in the 12th minute, but it did not result in another goal.
Junior forward Camryn Wendlandt broke away and attempted a shot in the 20th minute but was unable to take back the lead. The Commodores made two more corner kicks in the 18th and 25th minute.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt had her first save of the game on Vanderbilt’s third shot of the first half, and Vanderbilt responded with two more back-to-back corner kicks.
Baylor racked up four fouls and one offside in the first half to Vanderbilt’s single foul. The Commodores made three more corner kicks in the 41st minute but again could not convert to pull ahead of the Bears.
Wandt notched her second save after a header from Vanderbilt freshman midfielder Madi Allen in the 43rd minute. Both teams had five shots each in the first period.
Junior forward Raegan Padgett attempted a shot to the far right to start off the second half for the Bears. Henderson took a shot on the goal in the 53rd minute and was blocked, but bounced back and assisted Padgett as the Bears took back the lead 2-1.
“We just want to keep playing together,” Padgett said, “That’s really our driving force. All three goals were really just team goals.”
Henderson took another corner kick for Baylor and it looked as if the Bears had scored once again, but the team instead received its second offside penalty of the game.
The Commodores took two more shots in the 57th and the 59th minutes, both of which were blocked. Wendlandt made another shot on goal in the 67th minute, which was saved by Vanderbilt junior keeper Lauren Dimarchi.
Senior midfielder Julie James secured the Bears’ win with another goal in the 74th minute on an assist from Padgett. This was James’ ninth goal of the season.
Vanderbilt made its ninth corner kick in the 79th minute but still could not progress. Allen received a yellow card and the Commodores recorded five more fouls in the second period.
Demarchi notched her third save of the game after a shot by freshman forward/midfielder Taylor Moon in the 81st minute, which Moon quickly took another shot at again a minute later but was blocked.
The Bears move on to the third round of the NCAA tournament and take on No. 3-seeded Virginia on Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field. Virginia defeated Texas Tech in penalty kicks on Friday. The time of the game is yet to be announced.