By Foster Nicholas | Sports Writer
Creating chances early and staying strong on defense, Baylor soccer picked up its fifth shutout of the season in a draw against Kansas 0-0 Thursday night at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kan.
Coming off a six-game home stand, head coach Michelle Lenard and the Bears (5-5-2, 0-3-1 Big 12) looked to pick up their first conference win and also score their first goal in Big 12 play. Despite taking 16 shots, six of which came in the first 16 minutes, Baylor was scoreless by Kansas (3-3-6, 0-2-2 Big 12).
The Bears came out of the gates strong, pressuring the Jayhawks and creating nine opportunities. However, the second half flipped the script as Kansas doubled Baylor’s shots after firing 14 in the final 45.
With the heavy attack, the teams played aggressively, totaling 17 combined fouls, with 11 going against the home team.
Led by sophomore forward Tyler Isgrig’s three shots, two on goal, 11 Bears attempted a shot. Freshman midfielder Adriana Merriam, freshman forward Skylar Zinnecker and senior midfielder Ashley Merrill each recorded two shots as part of the team’s unselfishness.
As part of the aggression in the final third, the green and gold racked up 11 corner kicks but found no luck, despite sending a few headers toward the net.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ashlee Zirkel played all 90 minutes and saved all five shots on goal that were sent her way. The shutout goes down as Zirkel’s first solo shutout.
As time ticked down on the match, senior defender Blythe Obar took the final shot of the night in the 80th minute but left it wide, settling for a draw. Through 360 minutes of Big 12 soccer, the Baylor scoring drought continues.
Baylor will continue its tour around the Sunflower State on Sunday with a match against Kansas State (2-7-3, 0-3-1 Big 12). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, Kan.