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Baylor Soccer

Notes from Baylor Soccer's 2-1 Exhibition Win at LSU Saturday

April 11, 2022
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On Saturday, April 9th, Baylor Soccer traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to face LSU in its third spring exhibition game.

Coach Michelle Lenard’s squad beat Stephen F. Austin 2-0 and lost to Texas A&M 3-1 in recent weeks, and they have been struggling with a thin roster through the spring.

Lenard said, “Our roster numbers are low but we are getting hard work and resiliency out of everyone. We are certainly headed in the right direction. “

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I think that speaks to the players' commitment and mental toughness. Getting a new coach and a new system is rarely easy, and to keep pushing when injuries to your teammates and friends make it tougher is important.

Specifically with LSU, who finished just above Texas A&M in the SEC last season, earning a 2-1 win is a great sign to me. Coach Lenard made it clear she thinks real steps forward have been taken by the team in the last couple of weeks.

“I was very happy with the performance yesterday,” coach Lenard said, “We made some very important improvements since the last game. We came out more on the front foot and with more intention to affect the game rather than react to our opponent.”

That change from reading and reacting at first to attacking from the first kick seems really key to me. When you want to control the ball and score a lot of goals, you don’t want to invite the opponent into the game at all. That is more understandable for a defensive or counter-attacking style rather than possession and attack.

“We challenged the girls to be more aggressive in the press, more composed under pressure, and to take more risk in 1v1 attacking situations. I thought we did well in all of those areas.”

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Those 1v1 attacking situations are nothing new to the forwards on the roster who played last year, but finding the right ways to mix that in with passing-based possession will be something to watch develop. Sometimes the ball and spacing can’t do all the work for you.

And speaking of putting in work, Coach Lenard said, “Many players put in a hard 90 minutes and we also got some important minutes from several coming off the bench.” Great to hear considering the thin roster.

“I thought we showed more confidence and toughness than we have up to this date this spring.”

That last quote is most important in my book. I think it speaks to the buy-in and belief level of the players. Wins are nice, especially wins over Power 5 competition, but the intangibles matching or surpassing the results right now is a great sign. 

Up Next: The green and gold host their last home game of the spring against Brookhaven College on Thursday at 6 PM. The next Saturday (4/23) they play at SMU.

 

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Notes from Baylor Soccer's 2-1 Exhibition Win at LSU Saturday

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