By Ahfaaz Merchant | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer looks to take its talent against the No. 12 Oklahoma State Cowgirls Thursday for the final regular season contest of 2019, before heading into the Big 12 tournament.
Around this time a year ago, the Bears were busy hosting the Sooners for Senior Night and winning their first Big 12 championship trophy since 1998. The story was a bit different for the Cowgirls. While the Bears were on top of the Big 12, Oklahoma State was near the bottom of the conference.
Junior midfielder Ally Henderson said this match holds a lot of excitement because of how much has changed for the team since the last season.
“That’s huge for us especially since they’re doing so well this year,” said Henderson. “They’re one of the best teams in the Big 12, which is crazy how things turn around because last year I don’t think they made the tournament if I remember correctly. Now they’re leading the conference. So, it’s really neat to get to play the top team in our conference right before the tournament.”
OSU has turned around this season with a 6-1-1 conference record and a 13-1-3 overall record, which has earned them the number one spot in the Big 12. The Cowgirls also have a six-game winning streak that started after their draw against the TCU Horned Frogs on Sept. 29.
This away matchup presents a different challenge for the Bears as the Cowgirls are 8-0-1 at home and rank No. 12 nationally in scoring offense with a 2.47 goals per game.
Redshirt senior defender Kylie Ross said she was excited to take on the Cowgirls and take on the challenges they present.
“OSU is a great team. They’re physical, they’re good on the ball, and just good all over the field,” Ross said. “I think why not save the best for last because we’re all up for the challenge and going in I just think it’s going to make the tournament almost easier.”
Although Baylor sit in the middle of the conference standings, the team is in the Top 20 in shots and shots on goal. The Bears are high powered when it comes to outshooting all their opponents, 294-176 with a 143-75 advantage in shots on goal.
Baylor’s high-powered offense is led by senior forward Reagan Padgett who matched her season total from a year ago when she scored her sixth goal of the season against the Iowa State Cyclones on Sunday.
The Bears will face Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Thursday at Neal Patterson Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. Baylor will then travel to Kansas City, Mo. for a Big 12 Quarterfinal match Sunday.