By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s soccer will continue its quest for its first win as they square off against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa this weekend.
The Bears have tied their opening two games of the season against Big 12 title contenders TCU and Texas Tech.
Baylor has yet to score a goal this season, but head coach Paul Jobson said that he isn’t worried, saying practice and extended reps will help the offense score more.
“We’re creating chances in training where we feel like we can not only be successful but be realistic with our success and create situations that we think they will see in a match,” Jobson said. “It’s really just repetitions and continuing to encourage them and give them that belief that they’re going to have success.”
While Baylor has yet to score, they have also not conceded a goal. Junior defender Kayley Ables has been a defensive stalwart for Baylor, claiming Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week the past two weeks.
Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt is also on the verge of setting the school record for career shutouts, as she is currently tied for first with 27.
Freshman defender Sarah Hornyak said that Wandt has been a great help and resource, especially for the younger defenders on the team.
“She is so impressive back there in goal,” Hornyak said. “She helps me so much. Sometimes I catch myself being too confident in her.”
Jobson said that while the defense has been good, he believes they are yet to play their best.
“We’re still growing and learning defensively,” Jobson said. “I don’t think we’ve really gotten to the peak of what we can do defensively.”
Iowa State enters the game 0-2, with losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Following a disappointing season where they finished 3-15, the Cyclones were picked to finish 9th in the Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll. The Cyclones are led by junior defender Taylor Bee, who played the most minutes for ISU as a sophomore last season, and senior forward Courtney Powell, who spearheaded their scoring in 2019.
Baylor closed out the 2019 regular season with a 2-0 victory over Iowa State in Waco and has won five out of their last six games in Ames.
Jobson said he anticipates a difficult matchup against the Cyclones on Friday, citing their toughness and athleticism as possible obstacles for the Bears.
“They’re still going to be an athletic and fast, tough, blue-collar team,” Jobson said. “We know it will be a tough match up there but one that we’re looking forward to.”
Despite the possibility of a difficult matchup against the Cyclones, Wandt is just looking forward for an opportunity to grow as a team.
“We’re just excited to continue to find our groove,” Wandt said. “We’re excited to keep growing as a team and go to Iowa State and hopefully get a win.”
Baylor will play Iowa State at 6 p.m. Friday at the Cyclones Sports Complex. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.