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Baylor Soccer

Soccer Season Preview: Top Three Newcomers

August 5, 2022

With the soccer season just a couple of weeks away, and exhibitions starting on August 11, it's time to help people get to know the team and its schedule.

We started with the Top Three Returning Players, and today we will look at three players new to Waco who might have a big impact on the Bears this year.

In the coming days, I will highlight three more returners that have high upside, my three biggest questions for the team, the three biggest non-conference games, and the three most important conference games.

Of course with a new coaching staff, a roster that has welcomed 15 new faces, and a flip in play style, take these opinions with a healthy pinch of salt.

The Top Three Newcomers

Blythe Obar (#13) — The junior transfer from Dallas Baptist could see a lot of minutes in defense for the Bears this year. In her two years under Coach Lenard with the Patriots, Obar started in 37 of 38 games and racked up tons of minutes and awards.

Obar is coming off of back-to-back Lone Star Conference Defender of the year awards, as well as being a two-time All-Region selection. Oh, and she was a United Soccer Coaches All-American for Division II last year, sorry to bury the lede.

There’s a chance that she and Marissa Gray are the first choice starters at center back with Kayley Ables and Ava Colberg out wide. That’s a heck of a defensive line for the Bears, and Obar’s experience with Lenard’s style of play will only help Obar and those around her.

Skye Leach (#5) — There is a lot of competition in the midfield, and a lot of talent that might have to split time this year. Maddie Algya and Gabby Mueller are better-known quantities from last year but don’t sleep on Skye Leach.

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Skye Leach #5

The Flower Mound (TX) product was an Elite Clubs National League (ENCL) standout and helped Flower Mound High School to a state championship in 2021 and a national No. 1 ranking. She was a team captain as a senior and earned All-region and Academic All-State honors.

Leach is also a Baylor legacy. Her sister Ariel played soccer for the Bears from 2015-2018. With all that going for her, she should be a good player for the Bears. Why not get it started as a freshman?

Madison Martin (#0) The Texas Tech transfer goalkeeper could become a much-needed answer for this squad. For the first time in five years, Jennifer Want is not an option in goal for Baylor. It’s an open battle to replace her, and Martin just might win it.

Outside of Alyssa Navarrete (#00) who I believe is out injured for a while, Martin is the only one with minutes in regular season college soccer. She made three starts for the Red Raiders in 2020, including two shutouts.

Martin at Texas Tech

Aside from the collegiate experience, Martin was also a Texas State champion and four-year starter at Southlake Carroll High School. She kicked for the Dragons football team as well in 2018-19.

If she can step up and take firm control of the goalkeeper position, then that is one less question the team has to answer week in and week out. One step closer to competing at the top of the Big 12.

Hopefully, expectations have not been raised too much yet though. Again, this is a new coaching staff, with players new to Baylor and each other, and a new style of play. There are so many questions to be answered. These are just some possible solutions, and it will be exciting to see how the answers reveal themselves on the field throughout the year.

Next up: Top Three Upside Players

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Soccer Season Preview: Top Three Newcomers

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