By Michael Haag | Sports Writer, Video by Braden Murray | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor Soccer (1-2-0) lost to Nebraska (3-0-0) in a tough physical game Thursday night at Betty Lou Mays Field.
It did not take long for the red-hot Huskers to get on the board as freshman forward Sarah Weber scored an early first half goal. Shortly after, sophomore midfielder Gabby Mueller evened things out with a goal of her own off a frantic play. The rest of the first half saw lots of defense and great saves by each goalkeeper until a second effort header goal for the Huskers broke the tie. The goal was scored by senior defender Olivia Brown, who narrowly snuck one in as the ball inched over the plane of the goalpost.
The first half also showcased senior midfielder Maddie Algya go down with an injury, which caused Paul Jobson, Baylor soccer head coach, to continually try different options throughout the game.
Losing Algya so early in the game hurt the Bears and altered the makeup of the defense. The absence of sophomore midfielder Chloe Japic only made things worse.
“It does throw things off just a little bit, for sure,” Jobson said. “Not having Japic tonight was a big loss for us on the backline.”
The backline for the Bears was an issue, as multiple subs and injuries hurt them all night. Graduate student goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt made five incredible saves tonight. However, with an injury-riddled defense, Nebraska was able to capitalize.
The second half saw lots of defense from the Huskers and missed opportunities for the Bears. Baylor had countless shots on goal, several of them missing just wide or hitting the post. Additionally for the Bears, freshman defender Kate Zimmerman left the game after a scary head-butt collision. After the game, Jobson gave an update on her status.
“Yeah, I think she’s going to be OK,” Jobson said. “Just a good head collision there, and she was in good spirits.”
The atmosphere of the game was very physical which Mueller calls the “fun ones.” Jobson added on this physicality, as he paralleled this matchup to the old days of the Big 12.
“Oh yeah, that’s Baylor-Nebraska back in the Big 12 days,” Jobson said. “It was physical, but it wasn’t dirty; it wasn’t cheap. It was just a fun, hard soccer match.”
Baylor got desperate toward the end, taking multiple long-range shots in attempt to send anything they could at the net, which Jobson said they could’ve been better about.
“It was like, ‘Hey, here’s a shot, I’m going to pull the trigger,’” Jobson said. “I think we could have done a little bit better on some of those opportunities, getting closer to the goal.”
The Bears will look to get back on track next game as Baylor hosts Southern Methodist University (1-0-0) at 7 p.m. Sunday at Betty Lou Mays Field.