‘No bubbles’; Baylor soccer emphasizes relentless fight for road trip

Baylor soccer focuses on bouncing back after loss against Kansas State. Olivia Havre | Photographer

By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer

After Baylor soccer endured a heartbreaking loss on Sunday against Kansas State University due to a penalty kick in the last 18 seconds, the Bears look to take on their upcoming slate with an increased intensity. Junior defender Sarah Hornyak calls this the “no bubble” effect.

“My old high school program used to say this all the time. It’s this quote of no bubbles,” Hornyak said. “This is kind of gruesome … but if someone’s drowning, you have to continue to push them under.”

No, not literally, but the point remains. The Southlake Carroll graduate said the Bears (3-7-2, 1-3 Big 12) are lacking that final push.

“Obviously not murdering anyone,” Hornyak said. “I said that against LSU, and we went out and played completely dominant.”

Baylor edged Louisiana State University in its preseason exhibition game 3-1 after three separate players found the back of the net. Right now, after a 1-3 conference start, the team looks to find similar success.

Head coach Michelle Lenard has been pushing team chemistry, but she said that chemistry needs to last all 90 minutes. The squad has struggled to compete with the same intensity for the entire game, and unfortunately that came back to bite them on Sunday.

“The last couple of games we have slowly started to play more together,” Hornyak said. “The Kansas [State] game was really unfortunate to lose in the last 18 seconds, but I also think that we should never have a moment like that happen … we kind of let off the gas.”

'No bubbles' is a term that Hornyak learned from her high school soccer program. Olivia Havre | Photographer
'No bubbles' is a term that Hornyak learned from her high school soccer program. Olivia Havre | Photographer

However, on the flip side, Baylor found its rhythm in the last three minutes of its 3-2 comeback victory against the University of Kansas on Thursday. Hornyak had the assist on the equalizer goal in the 87th minute.

With the weekend of mixed emotions, the Bears are looking for a relentless mentality. This is where the no bubble saying comes into play.

“We don’t want to give our opponent any hope,” Lenard said. “What they’re speaking to there is, can we be relentless? Can we be ruthless? Can we find a way to kill the game so that our opponent doesn’t stay in it where something maybe fluky can happen toward the end of the game?”

Lenard said this mindset comes with experience. With 15 new players on the team and the competitive play of the Big 12 conference, chemistry will take time.

Now, Baylor travels to Ames, Iowa where it will fight for a win on Thursday against Iowa State University, a team that has not claimed any Big 12 victories. Last season, junior forward Mackenzie Anthony scored two for the Bears at Betty Lou Mays Field against the Cyclones (3-7-3, 0-4-1 Big 12). Right now, Anthony is out of commission, so another athlete will have to step up to be the finisher.

After their competition in Iowa, Baylor heads to Morgantown, W.Va. to face West Virginia University on Sunday. The Mountaineers (4-3-6, 1-0-3 Big 12) were Baylor’s downfall in the 2021 Big 12 Tournament last season where the green and gold lost 1-0.

Hornyak clarified with a laugh that the no bubbles mantra is solely hypothetical.

“This season has fluctuated, but if we continue to believe and do that no bubbles thing — just on the field — then it will be good,” Hornyak said.