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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Soccer Grabs 1-1 Draw from Gophers after Slow Start

August 19, 2022
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WACO, Texas — Baylor Soccer salvaged a slow start to the game and the season with a 1-1 draw against Minnesota in the opener.

A 79th-minute goal from sophomore Haven Terry leveled the Bears and Gophers at one after Baylor fell behind in the 51st minute.

A bright defensive game from freshman Hallie Augustyn and junior goalkeeper Lauren Traywick was overshadowed by mistakes and lack of early offense under the new offensive-minded head coach Michelle Lenard.

The first half of the contest saw the green and gold evenly matched and frankly pressed for answers at both ends. Minnesota had the best chances of the first half, but the “No goal patrol” aced those tests. At the other end, the Bears were not allowed to find comfort in their new offensive system. They worked some good chances, more than the Gophers even, but none quite as good.

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Elizabeth Kooiman

The best opportunities for Baylor to score may have been a couple of crosses in the first five minutes. First, Elizabeth Kooiman was just inches off of a cross. If she had been able to get her head on it, the keeper had little chance from that close.

Then Olivia Mack attempted an acrobatic flying kick but just could not connect either.

“I think confidence is key,” said senior midfielder Maddie Algya, “If we came out more aggressive, like in the first half, when Liz jumped that ball, that was perfect, but we needed to have done that like the entire game.”

The Bears already know the major lessons they need to learn from tonight, and are happy to move on to Wisconsin with the draw. But they were not able to adapt that quickly during the game.

After those early chances, Minnesota settled in and played very direct in attacking the Baylor backline to good effect.

Around fifteen minutes into the first half, the Gophers forced a couple of important clearances out of Hallie Augustyn and the Bears’ defense.

The physicality of the match was not off the charts like it was in many game last year, though Minnesota defender Elizabeth Overberg did earn a yellow card in the 31st minute for a rough tackle on a Bear.

The last great chance of the half for the Bears ensued, with substitute midfielder Gabby Mueller having her shot by the edge of the box blocked. That period around the 33rd minute was a good offensive spell for the Bears, but it did not seem like the dynamic attack many have hoped for under Michelle Lenard.

“I thought it was a very disruptive style of play,” Lenard said of Minnesota after the game. “The systems didn’t match up straight away, so we were having to make some adjustments. And I think maybe some nerves of some young players, some old habits die hard with some of the returners. And we had a combination of some things. Factor in the delays, and it was a little chaotic out there.”

To clarify, coach was making no excuses. She was quick to point out the lessons and steps forward she wants the team to take by Sunday.

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Ashley Merrill

The Bears did play better in the second half, but not before Laure Traywick was tested heavily in goal for the green and gold. In the 49th minute, she made one of her four saves, all in big moments.

However, just three minutes later, she was beaten. A Minnesota corner was headed down and the Bears were much too slow in closing down the ball. Khyah Harper took all that time and space to powerful and precisely lash a shot in over Traywick and down of the crossbar into the goal. 1-0 Minnesota.

“I don’t think that goal needs to happen, if we handle that corner-kick situation better,” coach Lenard said after the game. “We made an error there. And that comes from our back line and our goalkeeper. We need to step up the pressure on that ball and have all the players out of the box.”

In the immediate aftermath, Baylor stepped up their attack, but it did not reach fever pitch until there were about fifteen minutes left in the game.

Lenard sent on subs Haven Terry, Skye Leach, Gabby Mueller, and Micah Beasley. Those four put the tired Minnesota defenders through the wringer.

Then, in the 79th minute, Skye Leach sent Haven Terry in on goal down the left side. Terry quickly and calmly picked her mark and slotted it past the Minnesota keeper to draw the Bears level. 1-1.

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Skye Leach

After the game, Terry would say, “it was awesome because I kind of had to play underdog, honestly, because I was on the bench. I got put in for the last 15 minutes, and I feel like I made a change.”

That she did. She and all the subs made a drastic and noticeable difference. After the game, coach Lenard would not single in on one aspect of the sibs, whether it was their play style, a team-wide tactical shift, or fresh legs versus tired ones, but it got the job done.

“When we applied ourselves to the concept of attacking, it was noticeable,” Lenard remarked, “I don’t know why it took so long. I think we were concerned with the matchups and their system was a little bit unique and we got a little preoccupied with that, rather than 'Hey, we want to be on the front foot. We want to be applying the pressure.' When we did that we took over the momentum of the game. It just too long for that to happen and we weren’t able to string together long enough moments.”

If the Bears had started faster or even just earlier, perhaps they would have won. They were on a tear at the end of the game, looking for a winner. In fact, without the NCAA rule change removing regular-season overtime, Baylor may very well have been walking away with a win to start the Michelle Lenard era.

Tonight the Baylor fans will just have to settle for a 1-1 draw, some good lessons for the team, and the promise of a talented and deep team.

WotM: Haven Terry. Of the many subs that changed the game, she scored the winner.

Don’t discount the performances by Skye Leach and Gabby Mueller off the bench or Hallie Augustyn starting in defense either though.

Up Next: vs Wisconsin Sunday 8/21 7 PM CST ESPN+

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Hannah Augustyn (28) and Annikka Fredell (15)

 

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Baylor Soccer Grabs 1-1 Draw from Gophers after Slow Start

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