Baylor soccer announces amended conference-only slate

Senior midfielder Ally Henderson battles for the ball against Arkansas forward Taylor Malham in Baylor's 2-0 loss to the Razorbacks on Sept. 12, 2019 at Betty Lou Mays Field. Lariat File Photo

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

Baylor soccer released its amended 2020 schedule after the Big 12 announced a conference-only slate for the fall. The Bears will play one match per week over a nine week period beginning Sept. 11.

Head coach Paul Jobson said it might be a little different going straight into the season without having played an exhibition match or non-conference match.

“First of all, we’re excited to be playing,” Jobson said. “It will be interesting stepping onto the field for the first time without any type of exhibition or non-conference match right into it, but I think that’s a challenge that I think our girls are really up for. I think they’re so ready to play.”

The Bears have been hitting the practice field for several weeks now but were uncertain as to whether they would get to play this fall after NCAA president Mark Emmert announced the cancellation of fall sports championships on Aug. 13. The NCAA’s decision came after the Big Ten, Pac-12 and other major conferences announced the cancellation of their fall seasons.

“We cannot, at this point, have fall NCAA championships, because there’s not enough schools participating,” Emmert said in his video announcement. “But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t and can’t turn toward winter and spring and create a legitimate championship for all those students.”

Jobson said that the Big 12 soccer coaches worked hard to have a fall season because the possibility of not being able to put something together in the spring would mean their players would not get to play until next fall. However, if there was an opportunity to play a postseason in the spring after the regular season ends in the fall, Jobson said that would be “the best of both worlds.”

“If I’ve learned anything during the COVID season is not to look too far ahead,” Jobson said. “If they allow us to do something in the spring, great. The more matches we can play, a coach is always going to like that.”

According to Jobson, a benefit of the amended schedule is that it will allow for more practice time during the week as the Bears will only have to prepare for one game instead of two.

Jobson said part of the advantage of playing a conference-only slate is the familiarity within the league.

“There really aren’t any secrets,” Jobson said. “We all recruit a lot of the same players, so there is a familiarity with our opponents.”

Baylor opens the season at home against TCU on Sept. 11 at Betty Lou Mays Field.

DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor