By Ahfaaz Merchant | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer comes home to Betty Lou Mays Field on Friday to take on the Texas Longhorns as the Bears celebrate their 2018 Big 12 regular season championship.
Baylor comes off a 2-1 loss to Oklahoma on Sunday and is ranked fifth in the conference behind Kansas.
Head coach Paul Jobson said his team played well against the Sooners but was unable to complete their opportunities.
“Going to OU, I felt like we had a lot of momentum from the TCU first half that we got to play,” Jobson said. “I thought we played really well. I just think we needed to be able to finish a little bit better and defend a little bit better on the other end. All in all, I thought it was a good match.”
Baylor’s last victory against the Longhorns came on Oct. 19, 2012 in a 2-1 overtime victory. Since 2007 all matches between the two squads have been decided by one goal or less.
With Texas giving Baylor their only conference loss a season ago, the Bears will look to brush that off their shoulders and play a new game. Freshman forward Elizabeth Kooiman may not have faced the Longhorns last fall, but said she is still aware of what this match means to her team.
“Definitely heard a lot of how important this game is and how we definitely want to win,” Kooiman said. “I’ve heard about last year how they lost in overtime but how we need to come back and beat them this year. So, it is pretty exciting.”
The Bears will go into the weekend looking to bounce back after their loss to Oklahoma but will also have to travel to Fort Worth once again after having to reschedule last week’s match due to inclement weather. According to Jobson, since the match did not reach 70 minutes, it will have to be restarted per conference rules.
“We were really frustrated not to be able to finish the game at TCU. We felt like we had a great first half and had a lot of momentum going into the second half but obviously it wasn’t meant to be,” Jobson said. “So, unfortunately, the way our rules are we have to start all the way over on Sunday. But we’ll be ready for that.”
Kooiman had a particularly difficult time after the lightning delay but said Baylor will have the chance to play with more fire this weekend.
“It was pretty frustrating having the TCU game stopped halfway through, especially after I scored. Then going to Oklahoma and losing, was definitely a hard loss. Hard to swallow. But we definitely can come back this weekend strong,” Kooiman said.
The Bears will host the Longhorns at 7 p.m. Friday at Betty Lou Mays Field. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive championship banners in celebration of last season’s championship. Baylor will then restart the match against the Horned Frogs at 7 p.m. Sunday in Fort Worth.