By Will Chamblee, Video by Tim Longoria | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor women’s soccer opened the season against rivals TCU with a 0-0 draw Friday night at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.
Neither team was able to convert their chances during regulation or the two ten minute golden-goal periods.
Seven freshmen played for Baylor in the opener. Head coach Paul Jobson said that he was proud of his young team and their ability to fight back against an experienced TCU team.
“It was a really veteran team coming in playing against a really young team and I think you saw that in the first half.” Jobson said. “I would say we grew up a lot in the first 45. But I was really, really proud of their resiliency, their ability to keep fighting and scrapping defensively.”
TCU’s veteran experience showed as they owned a vast majority of the possession for most of the game, particularly in the first half.
Baylor struggled to create many chances during the first 45, generating only three shots.
The Horned Frogs almost broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, after a powerful shot to bottom center by TCU’s Grace Collins forced Baylor senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt to make a terrific save.
Wandt had a heroic performance to open her senior campaign, making five saves in her 26th career shutout. She said she was proud of the team’s defensive effort.
“I really thought the whole team for the whole 110 minutes did a great job of throwing their body in front of everything,” Wandt said. “I’m overall just so proud of the team’s defensive effort. More times than not we had midfielders and sometimes forwards in our defensive box, so I was really happy with the effort.”
Baylor came alive in the second half, opening the period with several shots and forcing TCU to retreat deep into their own half.
Freshman forward Mackenzie Anthony said that the team grew in confidence throughout the game and were more comfortable during the second half.
“I think in the first half we were all like so nervous and so uptight,” Anthony said. “And then we finally got to play more in the second half. You could see that we played with more heart in the second half and just thought we worked together better as a team.”
TCU soon matched Baylor’s energy, resulting in a back and forth battle late in regulation. TCU’s star midfielder Yazmeen Ryan controlled the midfield, creating chance after chance for the Horned Frogs.
TCU’s best opportunity came when Ryan fired a shot that slammed off the post with only two minutes remaining in regulation. The Baylor defense was barely able to clear the danger.
The two teams played two golden goal periods, but neither was able to score.
Junior forward/midfielder Taylor Moon almost put Baylor ahead in the first overtime with a breakaway shot that was saved by TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado. Then Anthony booted a shot in from outside the box late in the second OT but Alvarado kept the Bears from their golden goal with a diving save.
Jobson said he was proud of his team’s effort and heart, especially considering that it was the first collegiate game for many of them.
“They could have lost heart in that first half. There were times where we were literally struggling to gain our feet, our momentum,” Jobson said. “Credit to our veterans for keeping them energized and believing in them, and them getting right back up and getting after it again. That’s a team I’ll coach all day long — kids that have the desire and the will to know that maybe they’ve made a mistake or gotten beaten, but they get right back up again and they’re back on the line again ready to compete.”
The Bears will continue their conference-only slate with a match against Texas Tech next Friday in Lubbock.