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Kayley Ables wins Big 12 defender of the week |Big 12 Soccer Roundup

October 26, 2021
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IRVING, Texas – Baylor Soccer senior defender Kayley Ables earned the Big 12 defender of the week award for her play against Iowa State and West Virginia last week. The Waco native led the no-goal-patrol in two shutouts, beating ISU 2-0 and tying WVU 0-0 in double overtime. The award is her third weekly award for her career and her first of this season.

The other weekly awards went to Oklahoma State midfielder Grace Yochum (attacker), West Virginia goalkeeper Kayza Massey (goalkeeper), and TCU forward Camryn Lancaster (freshman).

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Kayley Ables against WVU

Big 12 Soccer is heading into its last week of the regular season, with every team playing their final game on Thursday. Baylor Soccer could finish anywhere from second to fifth in the conference based on the results of those games. TCU or Texas will win the conference, and Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State will be fighting to reach the conference tournament in Round Rock.

In the polls this week, TCU jumped back into the national top ten sitting at #8, and Texas rose one spot to #20. The Bears are still receiving votes, but the number of votes dropped to 19. That puts Baylor four spots out of the top 25.

Let’s take a quick look around the league to see the positions that teams find themselves in as the conference tournament closes in.

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Standings as of 10/26

Iowa State needed at least a one-win last week to get into tournament qualifying position. The Cyclones returned from their Thursday trip to Waco with another 2-0 loss to add to their tally. Their Sunday homestand against the Sooners was not much better, seeing them fall to 1-6-0 in the Big 12 with a 1-0 loss. There is only one way for Iowa State to extend its season: beat the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan on Thursday and hope that Kansas cannot find a way to at least draw with Texas. If anything else happens in those games, Iowa State's season will be over.

Kansas State finds itself in a very similar situation. Their Friday loss to #11 TCU, a close 3-2 game, left them in ninth place. Luckily for the Wildcats, they only need a draw and a Kansas loss to the Longhorns to make it to Round Rock. If that happens, the Wildcats and Jayhawks would be tied on points per game, and KSU's victory over KU would give them the nod.

The Kansas Jayhawks, despite sitting in eighth place after their 2-1 loss in Lubbock on Friday, won't need to sweat the result of any other games. They cannot finish any higher than eighth place, and they need only a draw with Texas to secure that position. While that is no small task, Kansas should be capable of it. A wing and an Oklahoma loss would see them draw level on PPG with the Sooners, but the head-to-head tiebreaker goes to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has already punched their ticket to the conference tournament in Round Rock, thanks to its 1-0 victory over ISU. Last week they also lost to Oklahoma State, but they can still finish either sixth or seventh despite that fifth conference loss. It all depends on the Sooner's game with Baylor and the Oklahoma State at West Virginia matchup. A draw in Morgantown or their own loss or draw to Baylor locks them into seventh, but if either team wins in Morgantown and Oklahoma wins, the Sooners rise to sixth.

Oklahoma State also had a split week, losing 2-1 on Sunday in Austin after their Bedlam victory earlier in the week. The Cowgirls can finish anywhere from seventh to fourth in the Big 12 depending on how games go. If they lose, they will be sixth or seventh, depending on OU vs Baylor. If they draw with WVU, they will finish sixth. And if Oklahoma State beats the Mountaineers, it will finish either fourth or fifth based on the result of the TCU at Texas Tech game. A Red Raiders draw or loss means fourth place for the Cowgirls, a win for Tech pushes OSU down to fifth.

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Big 12 Thursday games

West Virginia's scenarios are very similar to OSU's except the Mountaineers can reach third place thanks to tiebreakers against Baylor. A Baylor loss and a WVU win would mean that the Mountaineers own the goal differential tiebreaker over the Bears. Otherwise, a Baylor draw would see the WVU capped at fourth place. This is all possible thanks to WVU’s pair of 0-0 draws against Texas and Baylor this past week.

Texas Tech beat Kansas 2-1 on Friday night to open up the possibility of grabbing the third seed in the conference tournament. It would take a Baylor loss and a Tech win, no small task with the Raiders facing the #11 Frogs, but it is well within the realm of possibility. Otherwise, Tech will not drop below the fifth seed with a loss.

Baylor, after a 2-0 win over Iowa State to get back on track, drew with West Virginia 0-0 to continue their four-game shutout streak. Those results have kept second place as an option for the Bears, but they could fall as far as fifth place. A loss to Oklahoma on Thursday coupled with a Texas Tech win and a West Virginia win would be the worst scenario for the Bears. The best scenario is a big win over OU and a big loss for Texas against Kansas. If the goal differential change is large enough, Baylor would pass Texas for second place.

Most likely, Baylor will end up with the third seed in the conference tournament and face the loser of the Oklahoma State and West Virginia game. As with every conference game in the Big 12, there is no lopsided matchup to be had.

At the top of the conference sit TCU and Texas. After Texas drew 0-0 with West Virginia, TCU returned to the driver’s seat for the championship. The Frogs survived their game against Kansas State thanks to a second-half comeback, and now just need to win Thursday in Lubbock to repeat as Big 12 champs. A draw could also work for the Frogs if Texas draws with or loses to Kansas.

For Texas, its path to a regular-season championship relies on TCU not beating Texas Tech. If Texas wins and TCU ties or loses, Texas takes first. If Texas ties, it could only take the title with a TCU loss and a large enough goal differential swing. Currently, the Horns have a +7 GD and the Frogs have a +11 GD.

There is one scenario where Texas wins 3-0 and TCU loses 1-0 putting both on 2.11 PPG, +10 GD, and 15 goals scored (the third tiebreaker). This would lead to the fair play tiebreaker where yellow cards are worth one point and red cards are worth two points, with the lower score taking the crown. Texas currently has nine yellow cards and zero red cards. TCU has earned 15 yellow cards and zero reds.

Hopefully, that was not too confusing or just flat-out wrong. Regardless, there is a lot on the line heading into the final game day, and four of the five matches start at 7 PM CT. The Oklahoma State vs West Virginia game will start an hour earlier. Tuning in and keeping track of all the games could be quite entertaining.

 

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Kayley Ables wins Big 12 defender of the week |Big 12 Soccer Roundup

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