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Bears, Dons call it early in the heat, draw 1-1

September 19, 2021

Baylor Soccer had its first afternoon game of the year Sunday against the University of San Francisco.

Originally scheduled for 7 PM, kickoff was moved up to noon to help the Dons’ travel plans. This would prove important in the course of events.

The temperature at kickoff was 91 degrees with 51% humidity. Despite the inhospitable conditions, both teams opened with intensity.

The first ten minutes saw action at both ends, with each team registering two shots. Gabby Mueller had the best chance, but her shot fizzed wide left of the USF goal.

Taylor Moon, getting her second straight start after missing a good chunk of games was Baylor’s

Moon drives towards goal

biggest threat on the day. She worked hard down the right side and often beat her defender to the end line before sending a cross or a cut-back into the middle.

The heat was clearly taking its toll even just 25 minutes into the game. A mandatory three-minute water break was taken, and substitutions followed soon after. 

Before the subs were made, San Francisco struck. Jamesen Ward found Sydney Cooper in the box on a bit of a breakaway and Cooper finished calmly. Jennifer Wandt slipped when tracking the pass across her box, but she likely would not have been able to make a save anyway.

The Bears were not out of the woods yet, with the Dons winning a corner. This time Wandt was up to the challenge and made a great save to keep the deficit at 1-0 with 15 minutes left in the half.

The subs were then made with Ava Colberg, who is leading the team in minutes played, subbed off first for Kate Zimmerman. She was closely followed by Mueller, Mackenzie Anthony, and Moon. Lorelai Stramrood, Chloe Brown, and Olivia Mack replaced them respectively. Haven Terry also came on for Elizabeth Kooiman later.

With these subs, Baylor was able to start putting more pressure on USF and asked more questions of their defense.

With about a minute to go in the half, Terry fought for a loose ball in the Dons’ box getting to Brown for a shot. Sadly, it curled over the crossbar, and thee half ended 1-0.

Halftime had some entertainment in the form of a Corgi race since it was “Pups at the pitch” day for Baylor Soccer.

After the break, Baylor picked up where they left off. Moon found an opening on the right side to send a high cross in. Anthony connected with it, but her header went off the crossbar, straight down, and away from goal.

USF defenders prepare for a corner kick

This combination would not be denied again, however. Just two minutes later, and three minutes into the half, Moon sent a low cut-back to Anthony again from the right side. Anthony was able to put just enough power behind it to beat the keeper and tie the game at 1-1.

The Bears stayed on the front foot, and Maddie Algya nearly gave the green and gold the lead in the 53rd minute. Her chipped shot from 20+ yards out was amazingly tipped off the crossbar by the Dons’ keeper. It fell straight into the path of Anthony, but she could not keep her follow-up attempt low enough. It skied over the bar and the game stayed 1-1.

Baylor’s last great chance of the game came courtesy of Elizabeth Kooiman. After having a quiet start to the day thanks to a concerted effort by USF to shut her down, she finally found an opening on the left wing and cut in towards the near post. Her shot was saved by the Dons’ keeper who knew to keep track of Baylor’s #18 all day.

After the second-half water break, USF had a great chance come from a corner kick. The shot went wide right and the game looked to be ready for an exciting finish.

That finish would never come though. Only about a minute later, the game was called due to health and safety concerns from the heat. It was 94 degrees, 51% humidity, and directly sunny on the field for the whole game.

Both coaches were clearly concerned about the conditions all day, but I believe they hoped to play long enough for the NCAA to recognize this contest was official for both teams' records. A draw against a good team could help earn your squad one of 33 at large berths in the NCAA tournament.

Players shake hands as the game is called off in with 20 minutes left to play

Due to the health and safety concerns for all players, Coach Paul Jobson was not available for an interview after the match but he did give us an official statement on the match: “I’m proud of our ability to fight back and get one in the second half. We’re looking forward to hitting conference play this week.”

Hopefully, we can get more insight on today’s match through some mid-week media availability if that happens.

WotM: Taylor Moon - Not to take away from Mack Anthony and her three-game run of goals, but Moon was Baylor’s most dangerous player today and created the goal.

Up Next: @ Oklahoma State (THU. 9/23 7 PM ESPN+)

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Bears, Dons call it early in the heat, draw 1-1

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