By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s soccer fell short in a highly competitive matchup against No. 7-ranked West Virginia, losing 2-1 in Morgantown, W.Va. on Friday.
Baylor head coach Paul Jobson said that despite the loss, he was proud of the effort and fight his team displayed.
“It took us a bit to get going, and you can’t do that against a great team like WVU,” Jobson said. “We learned a lot from this match, and I was proud of the team‘s fight to get a goal back and continue to challenge late for the equalizer.”
The league’s best offense started hot, as the Mountaineers put pressure on Baylor’s senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt early.
West Virginia junior forward Lauren Segalla forced Wandt to make the first save of the game when she hit a looping shot into the hands of the Baylor goalkeeper 20 minutes into the game.
Heroic first-half performances from Baylor defender’s freshman Chloe Japic and junior Kayley Ables allowed the Bears to hold off the Mountaineers. However, West Virginia broke through after forward Alina Stahl fired a shot into the back of the net with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
At the half, the Mountaineers led the game with six shots, outpacing Baylor who was only able to hit one shot towards the West Virginia goal.
Wandt continued to play well in the second half. An incredible double save with 30 minutes left in the game, in which Wandt parried a point-blank shot from West Virginia star forward Stefany Ferrer-Vanginkel, helped keep Baylor in the game.
However, the Bears were unable to keep the Big 12’s leading goal scorer under wraps for the entire game, as Ferrer-Vanginkel scored her fourth goal of the season with 23 minutes left in the game.
Baylor sophomore forward Elizabeth Kooiman made her return to the lineup after a two-game absence and had an instant impact for the Bears. Kooiman chipped the goalkeeper with five minutes left in the game to score her first goal of the season.
It was too little too late for the Bears, as West Virginia was able to hold on for their fifth win of the season, keeping them at the top of the Big 12 standings.
With the loss, the Baylor falls to 1-2-3 on the season and fifth place in the Big 12 standings.
Baylor returns to action next Thursday at home in Waco, as the Bears will take on Kansas State at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN+.