No. 23 Baylor snaps unbeaten streak, upset by conference foe Kansas, 2-1

Baylor senior defender Kaylee Ables scored the only goal for the Bears in their game against the University of Kansas. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Michael Haag | Sports Writer

No. 23 Baylor soccer (7-3-3, 3-1-0) was upset by the University of Kansas 2-1 Thursday night. The Bears fell into a 2-0 first half deficit and struggled to find any offense the rest of the way. The Jayhawks got their first conference win while snapping Baylor’s unbeaten streak at nine games.

It didn’t take long for Kansas (6-8-1, 1-4-0) to take command of the first half. In the 5th minute of the game, Baylor tried to generate offense on their side of the pitch. The Jayhawks took control of the ball and sent a pinpoint pass to senior midfielder Rylan Childers, splitting two Baylor defenders. Childers stormed down the field on the break, eventually getting fouled by freshman defender Ava Colberg and senior defender Kayley Ables. Ables would get a yellow card on the play, as the fouls set up Childers with a penalty kick against graduate student goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt. Wandt guessed correctly, diving toward the left side of the goal. However, she would not make contact with the ball, as Childers’ shot hit the top left corner of the net, giving the Jayhawks an early 1-0 lead.

Not too long after, in the 8th minute, the Bears would draw a foul just outside of the box, setting up a close shot. Graduate student midfielder Ally Henderson-Ashkinos would send a shot toward the top right of the goal, but KU redshirt junior goalkeeper Emilie Gavillet put a hand on it and made the save.

The Jayhawks would have a second counterattack, as in the 12th minute they found themselves with another fast break. KU sophomore forward Shira Elinav would send a pass splitting three defenders, mirroring their earlier attack in the 5th minute of the game. The pass led KU sophomore forward Brie Severns, who then pushed her way all the way toward the goal. Severns sent her shot into the bottom right corner of the goal, extending the Jayhawks’ lead to 2-0.

Wandt had a big save in the 26th minute, one of two saves for her in the game, and kept the deficit to two goals. In the 32nd minute, junior forward Elizabeth Kooiman had her shot hit the top of the woodwork. Senior forward Taylor Moon would follow it up with a shot of her own, but had her shot deflected by a Jayhawk defender. The Bears outshot the Jayhawks five to four in the first half, but would remain down 2-0 going into halftime.

The second half featured an aggressive attack from Baylor, as they outshot KU 11-1 in the last 45 minutes. Moon had six shots, three of them being on goal, a season best for her. It wasn’t until under 10 minutes to go that the Bears would get on the board. In the 81st minute, Baylor sophomore midfielder Gabby Mueller made a pass to Ables. Ables gathered the ball and turned, scoring for Baylor to make it 2-1, and giving Ables her first goal of her career.

The Jayhawks would park the bus for the rest of the game and drain the clock, winning 2-1. Head coach Paul Jobson made sure to give credit to Kansas on their performance in the first half. He also said that he thought the team fought hard in the second half, despite falling short.

“Ton of credit to Kansas. I thought they were excellent in the first half and capitalized on two great chances,” Jobson said. “Our second half was better than our first and I thought we battled hard to the final whistle. Time to recover and prepare for a good Kansas State team.”

Up next, the Bears have an afternoon matchup on the road against Kansas State University (6-6-1, 1-2-1). The match will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, Kan. Baylor is 4-0-0 against KSU in their short history, dating back to 2017.