By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer’s fall season comes to a close on Friday at 5 p.m., as the Bears take on Oklahoma at Betty Lou Mays Stadium.
Baylor looks to end their season on a positive note after a loss against Texas last Friday that Baylor head coach Paul Jobson called “frustrating.”
“That’s been the common theme as I’ve had meetings this week and talked with different players — it’s frustrating,” Jobson said.
Baylor has an excellent opportunity to bounce back against the Sooners this Friday, who sit in last place in the Big 12 standings with a record of 0-5-1.
Oklahoma has struggled to find positives this season, only scoring two goals the entire year, both of which came in their lone draw against Texas Tech.
While the Sooners have been poor, Jobson said his team remains focused as they don’t want to be the team that Oklahoma develops momentum against.
“Yeah, they have not really gotten the results, but you don’t want to be the team where they start to streak against,” Jobson said. “You don’t want to be the team they breakthrough on, the team that they figure things out on.”
Oklahoma should continue to struggle against the talented Baylor defense, who is one of the three teams in the nation to not allow a goal at home this season. Jobson said being strong defensively was one of the keys to the game.
“We’ve got to be solid defensively, as we have been all year,” Jobson said. “They’ve got some firepower upfront that we need to be aware of and lock down defensively.”
The Baylor soccer program received a major boost on Thursday, as senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt announced the team’s seniors plan to return next year, following the NCAA’s eligibility relief to fall athletes this season due to COVID-19.
“As soon as we heard that those were going to be the new rules, it was an easy decision,” Wandt said. “We all talked to Paul and it was a no-brainer.”
Jobson said the decision to return will have a “huge” impact on the program going forward.
“Those individuals are fantastic people. They’re great leaders. They’re great for our team. I’m glad they’re sticking around,” Jobson said. “To be able to keep this group together for another year … I think there is a lot of excitement around being able to keep these seniors for one more season.”
While Oklahoma will be the Bears’ final game of the fall, the team will be back in the spring to finish off its season. Currently, the NCAA plans to hold its annual tournament in the spring of 2021.
Sophomore forward Elizabeth Kooiman said the Oklahoma game will be important to build momentum as the team prepares for the unprecedented spring season.
“It’s definitely out of the usual to be able to come back and play games in the spring,” Kooiman said. “But it’s exciting, so we can hopefully finish out this last game strong and get momentum going into the next part of the season.”