By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer returns home to face unranked Arkansas on Thursday night. The Bears are looking to get back on track after a long road trip that ended in a loss to Colorado on Sunday. Baylor comes home in hopes of extending their nation-leading 15-game home win streak.
The Bears have been on an 11-day road trip, but all that missed class has built chemistry among the team according to junior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt and junior defender Sarah Norman.
“We were with each other 24/7 for ten days, so we definitely had a lot of bonding time,” Norman said. “But it was cool because we switched roommates like four, three times, so I had three different girls I’d room with, and it was cool getting to know some other girls on a deeper level than I would normally.”
Baylor faces an Arkansas team that is 4-1-1 so far this season. The Razorbacks are coming off two wins in which they scored at least six goals for the first time in program history.They have also only allowed two goals in their six games thus far and didn’t allow a single shot by Lamar last week on Sept. 5.
The Bears will be looking to avenge last year’s 3-2 loss in Fayetteville, Ark. Head coach Paul Jobson hopes that having home filed advantage this time around will be beneficial for Baylor.
“We went there and played a really nice, hard, tough match last year, and they beat us there, so we’re excited to get ’em back at our home place,” Jobson said. “I think home field is a great advantage in any environment, so we’re looking forward to it. They’re a fantastic team with some quality players.”
The Bears’ defensive depth will counteract Arkansas’ highly aggressive style according to Wandt and Norman, as the back line’s ability to swap in and out will absorb the pressure created by the Razorback’s offense.
“What’s cool about our back line this year is that we have so many people that can play back there and interchange,” Norman. “It’s pretty awesome, and I feel like that’s rare, especially for a coach to feel confident in their defenders.”
The Bears take on Arkansas at 7 p.m. Thursday at Betty Lou Mays Field.