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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Soccer ties West Virginia 0-0 on Senior Day

October 24, 2021

WACO Texas — Baylor Soccer drew for the third time in its last four games, finishing 0-0 against West Virginia on Senior Day. Control of the game was split evenly between the two sides, with the Bears outshooting the Mountaineers 15-14. The draw ends Baylors' outside chance at a Big 12 regular-season title, but the seniors get to leave the Lou with one last good result against a tough WVU team.

The referee let a lot of physical play go and both sides tallied 15 or more fouls. Timely saves by both goalkeepers kept the scoreboard at its starting point. The Bears are now 8-3-6 with a conference record of 4-1-3.

The Bears controlled much of the first half thanks to alert defensive work by the no-goal-patrol and hard pressing by the midfielders and forwards. The mountaineers could not keep possession for very long whenever they won the ball back from Baylor.

"I thought we had some good chances,” Baylor coach Paul Jobson said after the game, "West Virginia played really well defensively and shut down some opportunities we had. I didn’t feel like they had a ton of great opportunities until late in the game, but they definitely had some great chances too. Good result for us at home. Obviously, we would have loved to walk away with a victory on Senior Day, but at the end of the day this conference is so tight and West Virginia is a really good team. So I’m happy to walk away with at least a point today."

Offensively, the green-and-gold were dangerous, but not a single chance missed should leave them disappointed or disheartened. 

Their best period of the game came around the 30-minute mark. Mackenzie Anthony did great work on the right side of the WVU box and sent a cross in to Gabby Mueller who could not get a clean strike on the ball. 

A minute later, Anthony nutmegged a defender on a pass to Mueller who slipped a through ball in for Olivia Mack. Mack could not beat the WVU goalie to the ball though, and the chance was stopped.

On the very next attack for Baylor Anthony found herself with room to shoot on the right side of the Mountaineers’ box thanks to a nice pass from Mueller, but she pulled her shot barely wide to the left of the goal.

After that period of really good chances for the Bears, the physicality popped up again and culminated in West Virginia midfielder Annika Leslie (#12) getting in the face of Ally Henderson-Ashkinos. Henderson-Ashkinos had made a good tackle and the referee had to step in to settle the situation down.

The half closed with a decent attack by WVU, but Colberg cut out their most dangerous cross to preserve the 0-0 draw.

To start the second period, the Mountaineers were ready to go. They came out with renewed energy and took control of the game away from the Bears. 

In the 49th minute, a West Virginia corner had to be punched away by Baylor keeper Jennifer Wandt, but she was up to the task. On the day, she made five saves, and, not to overstate the obvious in a 0-0 draw, but each one was crucial.

Despite West Virginia’s better control of the second half, the Bears created more good chances. Elizabeth Kooiman cut back inside off of the right wing to test the WVU keeper with a good shot in the 60th minute. 

In the 72nd minute, Taylor Moon was sprung on goal by some good work from Anthony, but nothing really came from the opportunity. Around the 80th minute, Olivia Mack Wass whistled twice for offsides, but the Bears kept pushing for the winner. 

The last real chance for either team in regulation was a West Virginia shot over the Baylor crossbar in the 89th minute, and after that the game headed to overtime still 0-0.

Early in the first overtime period, it looked like West Virginia would send the Bears to the locker room sad. A WVU shot was too tall for Wandt and bounced back in front of goal off the crossbar. A WVU forward controlled the rebound and lashed a shot on goal, but somehow Wandt had composed herself enough to make the save. 

"I hadn't had to do much big in 90 minutes,” Wandt said after the game, "so to be able to come up big for my team in that moment was important to me. It was just kind of like a reaction thing; I didn't really think too much."

It was an amazing effort by the senior and it stonewalled WVU’s best chance of the day.

Talking about the Bears’ run of four straight shutouts after the game, coach Jobson said, "I think we figured a lot of things out, some ways we were exposed earlier in the season, we kind of solidified what that should look like now. So we feel really good there. Jen doesn’t always do a lot, but she comes up at big moments. It’s fitting on Senior Day that she does that again.

Minutes later at the other end of the field, Giuliana Cunningham had a great idea for a flick on to Anthony, but the ball was just too close to the goalie. It was impressive control and a great idea, but it just didn’t come off for a chance.

Baylor’s best chance of overtime came next, in the very last minute of the first OT period. Taylor moon was sprung in on goal but she just could not get her chip over the keeper for the winner. The was a mad scramble in the box after the keeper couldn’t control Moon’s chip but WVU cleared the ball and kept the draw.

In the second overtime period, Moon had a couple of chances. First she went down in the box on a weak challenge by a defender. No call from the referee. Then in the 109th minute, she found herself on the end of an Anthony cross, but she just could not connect well enough with her header to really threaten the goalkeeper.

The game ended shortly after that as an altogether well-fought, but slightly disappointing draw.

"It was a tough game, 110 minutes,” Jennifer Wandt said, "I think both sides battled really hard. Obviously, you'd rather win than tie but we'll take the point at this point in time. With it being senior night, it was super fun to celebrate with the team and all of our families after so, just a really, really special day. "

Elsewhere in the Big 12 Texas beat Oklahoma State to end any chance of Baylor swooping in on the last matchday and winning the regular-season title.

After the game, all eight seniors (Elena Reyna, Sarah Norman, Kayley Ables, Jennifer Wandt, Taylor moon, Maddie Algya, Ally Henderson-Ashkinos, and Giuliana Cunningham) were honored on the field.

After the game, coach Jobson had this to say about his seniors: "The Super Seniors, our COVID Seniors, fifth-year, whatever you want to call them, they came here as freshmen in our ’17 year, back-to-back Elite 8 runs. And obviously, the next group that we honored today, the true seniors, came in during that time as well, and know what it means to be successful, know what it means to win. And even through our lull, what that looks like. And I think this year, they’re putting some pieces together, teaching the young kids what that looks like, and bringing them on board. Our success this year is a lot of credit to their leadership."

The Bears still have an away game in Norman, Oklahoma to look forward to on Thursday before they head to Round Rock for the conference tournament quarterfinals a week from today.

WotM: Kayley Ables and Jennifer Wandt - Both led the Baylor defense and made timely interventions to keep the shutout. Tough to separate them on a day where the whole team was solid.

Up Next: @Oklahoma (Thu. 10/28 7 PM Bally Sports Oklahoma [not ESPN+])

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Baylor Soccer ties West Virginia 0-0 on Senior Day

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