By Michael Haag | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer (4-2-2) shut out Stephen F. Austin State University (2-5-1) by a score of 3-0. Baylor dominated the time of possession from the start, running away with the game.
The Bears controlled the pace and relied on their backline, not needing much out of graduate student goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt. Wandt said the team’s defense made her job easy and that they were glad to get a shutout win.
“[The] team made it easy on me tonight, our defense was rock solid,” Wandt said. “[I] didn’t have to do much, did some with my feet but it’s nice for the team to get a shutout and get a nice 3-0 win.”
Baylor struck early in the first half, as in minute 19, sophomore forward Mackenzie Anthony hit the bottom center of the net. Freshman forward Haven Terry and junior forward Elizabeth Kooiman recorded an assist on the play, setting Anthony up with a beautiful look towards the goal. Anthony now has five goals so far this season, as well as goals in back-to-back games. Head coach Paul Jobson said he is glad to see Anthony scoring at the rate that she is and says that this is what she’s expected to do.
“That’s what [Anthony] was recruited to do,” Jobson said. “I know she was frustrated last year not getting in that rhythm, but she’s showing maturity on the field now and creating some great opportunities for herself.”
Shortly after, in minute 27, the Bears found the back of the net again. Sophomore midfielder Chloe Japic, the hero from last match, scored off of a tap pass from junior midfielder Maddie Algya, giving Japic her second goal in two games, as well as going into the season.
In the second half, the Bears continued to dominate the time of possession, not allowing SFA to generate any offense. Baylor would keep attacking, getting lots of shots on goal. The Bears would end up putting one more score on the board to extend their lead. Graduate student midfielder Ally Henderson-Ashkinos set up for a corner in minute 57. Kooiman would capitalize off the corner pass, scoring her first goal of the season. Kooiman has been dominating the left side of the pitch for the last few games, giving the team more options to score. Jobson said that having her as a threat out on the wing is huge for this team and makes opposing defenses game plan specifically for her.
“She’s been a massive threat for us down that left wing,” Jobson said. “But you could tell, they had scouted her. They were defending her a little differently than some of the other teams, and she still found a way to get in and score a goal; a great goal, actually.”
Getting that first goal of the season was huge for Kooiman as she’s had many shots on goal, but never found the back of the net until tonight. Kooiman and Jobson hope it will “open the floodgates” for her moving forward. She said that getting through that frustration was big for her tonight.
“I’ve definitely had chances and it has been frustrating, especially when other [goal]keeper’s have made some amazing saves,” Kooiman said. “It’s nice to finally have one go in.”
The rest of the second half would feature more stout defense from the Bears as they drained the rest of the game clock. Baylor would cruise their way to a 3-0 victory, dominating on all sides of the pitch. Jobson said improvements can still be made going forward, as conference play is a week away.
“We’ve got to be a team that can win games, and they did that,” Jobson said. “But I think moving forward, we’re going to have to be a little sharper.”
Up next, the Bears have their last non-conference contest against the University of San Francisco. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.