Baylor soccer blanks Kansas State 2-0 for first conference win

Sophomore midfielder Skye Leach (5) directs traffic while controlling possession of the ball during Baylor soccer's conference match against Kansas State Sunday afternoon at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, Kan. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Foster Nicholas | Sports Writer

Baylor soccer took full advantage of its road trip and capped off the weekend with its first conference win via a 2-0 shutout of Kansas State University on Sunday afternoon at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, Kan.

Recording the sixth shutout of the season, head coach Michelle Lenard and the Bears (6-5-2, 1-3-1 Big 12) found the opportunity to rack up points in Big 12 play.

Baylor secured its first conference goal after searching for 367 minutes against Big 12 foes. It all happened in the seventh minute when sophomore midfielder Hannah Boughton sent a pass to the top of the 18-yard box, where sophomore defender Hannah Augustyn stood waiting. Augustyn wound up and unleashed a hot shot off her left boot and into the upper left 90, giving the green and gold an early 1-0 lead.

After the quick strike, Baylor continued to pepper the Wildcats (2-8-3, 0-4-1 Big 12), as five different women in green combined for six shots in the next 12 minutes. The attack steadied when KSU found pressure of its own, but the tables once again favored the Bears.

In the 36th minute, freshman forward Callie Conrad found a gap and delivered a pass between multiple defenders to freshman midfielder Theresa McCullough. Lined up on the left corner of the 18-yard box, McCullough roped the pass into the far right corner and found the back of the net for the first time in her collegiate career.

After both Augustyn and McCullough tallied their first goals of the year, the Baylor attack cooled off but continued pressing. While the green and gold took a 10-4 shot advantage into the half, the Bears were only able to muster three more shots in the final 45 minutes of action.

Despite the attack stalling out, the Baylor defense limited opposing opportunities. Sophomore goalkeeper Ashlee Zirkel made five saves, four of which came in the second half, and she earned her second consecutive shutout while playing all 90 minutes.

The Bears will head back home and hit the pitch on Thursday against Iowa State. Kickoff versus the Cyclones (4-7-1, 1-3 Big 12) is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Betty Lou Mays Field.