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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Soccer Drops Frenetic Match to San Francisco, 3-1

September 8, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – Baylor Soccer saw their momentum of the last week evaporate early against the University of San Francisco Dons as a 2-0 deficit in the first 11 minutes became a 3-1 loss.

There may not have been a more unfortunate way to start off the road trip for the Bears than conceding a goal in the third minute after goalkeeper Lauren Traywick got caught in possession playing out from the back. That is a risk the team takes with its preferred style of play, and it was probably bound to happen at some point sooner or later.

The best keepers in the world have the same happen to them, the key is the response. 

The Bears worked the ball right back down to the San Francisco end and Elizabeth Kooiman, who had a particularly bright first half, sent a shot just wide right of goal in the 5th minute.

Before the Bears could truly get their feet fully under them however, the Dons press sprung on another Baylor misstep.

Gabby Mueller thought she had turned her way out of danger around midfield, but she was dispossessed. That led to San Francisco attacking the left side of Baylor’s defense where I believe it was Kayley Ables who missed on her tackle attempt. It was a brilliant play by the San Francisco forward Kaylin Lunsford to be sure. She skipped through the tackle attempt and sent a great shot past Traywick to make it 2-0.

Whether that was just good pressing and attacking or a mix of that and defensive lapses, I can not say definitively due to issues with my stream of the game. Nevertheless, it was a tough sequence of play for Baylor, who continued to look very strong offensively through the first half.

The Bears bounced back quickly and with great mentality, pressuring the Dons into turnovers and making good headway into the USF 18-yard box.

In the 14th minute, Hannah Augustyn was slipped down the left flank by Micah Beasley. Beasley had cut in toward the middle of the field and Augustyn overlapped on the outside very well. Augustyn immediately put a chipped shot in toward the goal that cleared the keeper and found the far corner of the net. 2-1.

Just five minutes later, Kooiman had a great chance to tie the game up, but after a nice turn and some good space creation for a shot, she just did not get enough power behind it. Whether that is because a defender got a piece of something or simply a miss hit, that opportunity was sorely missed by the Bears later on in the game.

Action was very end-to-end today. Both teams pressed well early on and the Dons created many nervy moments for the Baylor defense. Lauren Traywick finished with eight saves while the offense tallied 10 shots. 

Around the 30th minute, a nice counter press won the ball back for the Bears and sent Ashley Merrill dribbling through the center of the field toward the Dons’ box. Maddie Algya overlapped her to the right and received the ball to immediately send a shot in. It was a more dangerous-looking version of Augustyn's earlier goal, but Algya’s shot strayed across the goal and wide.

Soon after the scoreboard on the broadcast disappeared and left me in the dark as to what time Baylor missed its best chance to tie the game. Micah Beasley found space in the box somewhere around the 33rd minute or so. A cross from a teammate found her and she went for the volley on goal. She sent the ball back across the keeper and onto the post. 

Sadly, Beasley was inches too far to the right with the shot and the ball bounced away from goal.

The Dons saw the rest of the first half out safely, and Lunsford put the final nail in Baylor’s coffin just four minutes into the second half. 

The Bears struggled to clear the box and their defensive zone as a whole after a San Francisco attack. The ball got cycled out wide and then sent back in where Lunsford pounced and worked her magic yet again. 3-1 Dons and a hat trick for the scorer.

Though Baylor fought hard to get back into the game, San Francisco smartly worked themselves into a more solid defensive block for the remainder of the game. Baylor struggled to create the same quality of chance in the second frame that it did in the first.

Note: the chances the Bears created in the first half were great. The execution just continues to be lacking, and the defensive mistakes that Baylor had rid themselves of against Iowa reared their ugly head today. 

As with everything, lessons can be learned, but after taking some great steps forward last week, this was a somewhat sobering reminder that the Bears still have a good way to go this year.

On the bright side, Elizabeth Kooiman looked very good in the first half with space to operate up front. Kayley Ables also got time on the attacking line today. She nearly created a goal out of nothing with a great turn in the 18-yard box just a minute or two after the third USF goal. Maybe if she had beat the keeper to that ball, this game would have a vastly different story.

Small things like that can make all the difference. The Bears do look much better still in this style of play than one month ago, but the mistakes have to be cleaned up for the Bears to see much postseason play this year.

WotM: Hannah Augustyn – After her sister scored against Houston, Hannah got in on the action today. A nice bright spot to take away from this game.

Up Next: at Gonzaga Sunday 9/8 3 PM CST streamable on the WCC website.

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Baylor Soccer Drops Frenetic Match to San Francisco, 3-1

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