By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
After a long winter break and multiple postponed games, Baylor soccer finally opened the spring portion of their season against LSU, losing 1-0 at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field on Thursday night.
LSU’s Shannon Cooke scored the Tigers’ lone goal midway through the first half, hitting a long shot that spilled through the hands of Baylor senior goalkeeper Jen Wandt, a rare mistake for the veteran. Despite the loss, Baylor head coach Paul Jobson and the team were just happy to be back on the field.
“You don’t make excuses,” Jobson said. “You are who you are, and I really felt like the girls, based on our circumstances, played really well.”
Wandt more than made up for her early mistake. The senior made an acrobatic save with 11 minutes left in the half to keep the score at 1-0 to LSU. The senior made a total of five saves during the game.
Baylor’s best chance of the game came soon after. Junior forward Taylor Moon had a one-on-one with the keeper but was unable to finish as LSU’s Mollee Swift closed her down quickly and saved the shot. Moon was unable to score during the game but totaled five of Baylor’s ten shots on the night. Jobson said he remains confident in his forward.
“Taylor Moon was great tonight,” Jobson said. “She did a great job getting herself some great opportunities. I know she’ll be disappointed in herself for not finishing, but that comes with the territory of being a goalscorer.
Down 1-0 at the half, Baylor wasn’t able to find the back of the net in the second half either. Still, the Bears were able to create a lot of chances for their forwards, placing 10 shots on target and earning three corners during the game. While Baylor was unable to convert any of their chances, Jobson said he wasn’t worried, saying finishing is the hardest part for a team to get right.
“The finishing piece is always the last piece to come together,” Jobson said. “We created some great opportunities for ourselves. That last piece, I don’t think we pulled the trigger very well. We didn’t make it very difficult for the goalkeeper.”
This was Baylor’s first game of the spring season after games against Texas A&M and TCU were canceled. LSU, on the other hand, has already played six matches this spring. Understandably, the Bears spent most of the game knocking off rust from the winter break.
“We haven’t played 11 v. 11 since our last match, which was 132 days ago,” Jobson said. “Missed not being able to play those first couple of games, especially our exhibition match. That’s what that was kind of designed for.”
Baylor will play its next game this Saturday at 1 p.m. against Louisiana at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field, as the Bears look to continue building its resume for the NCAA Soccer Championships.