Baylor soccer rallies back to stay undefeated in the Big 12

Baylor soccer celebrates after scoring the game winning goal against Texas Tech. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Michael Haag | Sports Writer

Baylor soccer (7-2-3, 3-0-0) defeated Texas Tech University (9-2-1, 2-1-0) 3-2 in a thrilling game. The game was a bit of a roller coaster for the Bears, as they rallied back from a 2-1 deficit to secure the win.

Head coach Paul Jobson knew this game would be a battle, as games against Texas Tech, and any Big 12 team, are always tough.

“Our matches with Texas Tech are always tough matches,” Jobson said. “It’s always a great match, it’s always intense, it’s always physical. It’s never dirty, it’s just a physical, intense match. There’s a Big 12 championship on the line every time you play a Big 12 team. That’s what everybody wants, so it’s a fight to the end.”

Early in the first half, Baylor used some nifty passing and teamwork to put one on the board in the 11th minute of the game. A lead pass was sent to junior forward Elizabeth Kooiman along the left wing of the pitch, who then sent a cross into the middle of the box toward senior forward Taylor Moon. Moon fired a shot into the bottom center of the goal, putting the Bears up 1-0 for her fourth goal this season.

Later, in the 39th minute, Baylor would send a weak tap pass near their own goal toward graduate student goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt. The Red Raiders’ senior forward Kirsten Davis would intercept and get a one-on-one opportunity on goal. Wandt, who made several big-time saves throughout the game, was not able to get the stop as she was away from the goalposts in an attempt to get to the pass. Davis cut left and sent her shot toward the top center of the net, getting the equalizer to make it 1-1.

In the second half, sophomore midfielder Gabby Muller would commit a foul in the penalty box, giving the Red Raiders a penalty kick chance. In the 57th minute, senior midfielder Charlotte Teeter shot towards the back right of the goal, where Wandt made the initial save. However, the ball ricocheted back toward Teeter, where she would score to give Texas Tech a 2-1 lead.

Even though Teeter scored off the second effort, Wandt was proud of her ability to make contact on the shot, as just last game against Texas Christian University she allowed a goal off of a penalty kick.

“The game before in TCU I second-guessed myself and then I ended up just kind of standing there and watched it go in, so I was just making sure I wasn’t going to do that,” Wandt said. “Shame I gave up a rebound right in front, but I mean, for PK’s it’s hard; you kind of just want to get a touch on it and go from there but, I mean it just went right to her, and she had a good finish on it so good composure by her.”

Baylor would respond, as in the 62nd minute sophomore forward Mackenzie Anthony led a counter-attack down the right side of the pitch. She sent a cross towards sophomore forward Olivia Mack, who chipped one in over the top of Red Raider junior goalkeeper Madison White for her second goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2.

Baylor broke the tie in the 79th minute. Mueller fired a shot towards goal, hitting the top right corner of the goalposts. The ball would bounce at a downward angle, hitting the back of White and bouncing into the back of the net to give the Bears a 3-2 lead. It was Mueller’s second goal of the year.

Mueller was happy to pay her team back after her foul, by hitting the game-winning goal. She said that she took the initiative to score, even with the attempt being from far away.

“I guess because of the [penalty kick] I knew I had to work extra hard to try to make up for that in some way, and I knew I owed it to my team to work as hard as I could,” Mueller said. “ I just had a lot of adrenaline in me and I knew something had to be done. So I took the initiative. I was waiting for it, and then I saw it trickle in and I was like there we go.”

The Bears would hold on to win 3-2, winning all three of their first conference games to remain undefeated in the conference standings. Wandt was proud of the team for rallying back, saying that no matter what is on the scoreboard, they try to play their game.

“Yeah, I was super proud of us,” Wandt said. “We’ve been in every situation this year so when we went up or when we went down, we just tried to remain steady and keep our emotions in check because we know that whether we are winning, tied or losing we’re going to just play our game and we believe that will get us the results and I think that showed tonight. I was just really proud of the effort.”

Up next, the Bears will play Kansas University (5-6-1, 0-3-0) in Lawrence, Ka. at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. They get a week-long break until they hit the road to play the Jayhawks. Baylor is 9-11-1 versus KU in their history, dating back to 1999.