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Baylor Soccer

No. 12 TCU Tops Baylor Soccer 2-0 on Windy Day in Waco

October 23, 2022

WACO, Texas — Baylor Soccer’s Big 12 tournament hopes will come down to the last day after the Bears (4-10-2, 2-6-0) could not muster much offense against the TCU Horned Frogs (10-3-4, 5-1-2). The green and gold fell 2-0 while only registering four shots, one shot on goal, and one corner kick.

55th and 72nd-minute goals from TCU turned a 0-0 halftime stalemate into what Baylor head coach Michelle Lenard dubbed a “brutal” loss.

The brutality can easily be found in the stat sheet. The Frogs took 20 shots to Baylor’s four, nine of those were on goal to BU’s one, and TCU earned 15 corner kicks as well.

Possession statistics were not much better, with the Frogs keeping 59% of possession overall. Of that 59%, two-thirds of TCU’s time on the ball came in Baylor’s half. Comparatively, the Bears had only 44% of their possession in the TCU half.

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There were better spells of time for the Bears, but they were few and far between thanks to the TCU press. In the end, Baylor’s best part of the game was the first 10-20 minutes of the first half.

“We did well to press in the first half and forced them to make mistakes,” said Coach Lenard after the game, “None of those pressing opportunities really turned into good opportunities on goal for us.”

There was one good chance for Baylor in the sixth minute of the game that came from possession play rather than pressing. Gabby Mueller and Elizabeth Kooiman dashed through the TCU midfield and defensive lines, passing back and forth before Kooiman sent in the Bears’ lone shot on goal for the day.

Coach Lenard thought her team continued playing well deeper into the half despite the lack of shots before the tide really turned.

“The first 20-25 minutes, we were in a good spot if we could have maintained that intensity and maybe capitalize on some of those pressing opportunities… But when you press press press and don't capitalize, the opponent no longer has to respect that and they just play beyond your press.”

As TCU grew into the game and started playing beyond the Baylor press, Madison Martin was called into action.

In her first start since the conference opener against Oklahoma, Martin was under siege in the goal for much of the day. She came up big with a great kick save on a breakaway in the 11th minute as well as a diving save to her left in the 14th minute.

Between those saves and a Hallie Augustyn goal-line clearance in the 42nd minute, the Bears were just able to keep things scoreless at halftime.

In the second half though, the dam would finally burst. Ten minutes into the frame, Gracie Brian for TC would sneak behind Hannah Augustyn and beat Martin to a very good cross. The header was pure and the ball was buried in the back of the net. 1-0.

Not four minutes later, a Frogs’ corner was nearly poked in to double the lead, but Blythe Obar was luckily in perfect position near the far post to make the goal line clearance.

13 minutes later, however, the TCU lead would be doubled. The visitors made a nice switch in play from the left of Baylor’s defense to the right. With their forward almost at the endline, Martin was not able to stop the cross, and Skylar Heinrich poked the ball home. 2-0.

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“We're just continuing to give it the same types of goals,” said Coach Lenard.

Baylor does keep struggling to win in the air defensively or getting the corner turned on them before a low cross near the endline. Both of those are areas of concern. Whether BU’s keepers need to be more decisive on coming off of their line and or the defenders need to improve their positioning and awareness, it has been a consistent problem for the Bears’ back end this year.

Down 2-0 and needing a result to push the green and gold closer to conference tournament qualification, Baylor was only able to muster a couple more chances.

In the 75th minute, substitutes Micah Beasley, Olivia Mack and Kylie Finney worked the ball into the TCU box but could not get a shot off before the chance was cleared.

Then in the 85th minute, Gabby Mueller earned the Bears their best chance of the second half. Haven Terry had chipped the ball into the middle from the left wing, and Mueller beat a TCU defender to it by inches.

Mueller then took a hard fall from the challenge and the Frog was shown a yellow card.

Kate Zimmerman then stepped up and rifled a shot at goal. It would have hit the crossbar and bounced either up or back into play, but the TCU keeper barely got a fingertip to it and sent it out of play. The ref missed that touch and awarded the Frogs a goal kick, ending the Baylor threat.

Speaking on the difference in offensive output today, Michelle Lenard said this:

“At the end of the day, we have to win our 1v1 battles. That's what they did… when, when our tactical strategy limited them, their individual players started winning 1v1 battles.”

Coach later added to that comment by offering the players' point of view.

“I think we all feel frustrated… They want to be able to create opportunities for their team, and they want to be able to come up for their team.”

Fatigue may be an issue at this point in the year, with so much to play for and no break since conference play started. Lenard noted that they may try to rest the players more heading into Senior Night on Thursday against Oklahoma State.

That rest, as well as a mental reset, could be key. The Bears still control their own fate as far as the Big 12 tournament goes.

If they win on Thursday, they are in.

Anything less than a win, and the Bears would need Iowa State to at least draw with Kansas to keep the Jayhawks out in favor of Baylor.

WotM: Hallie Augustyn — Earned with the goal line clearance in the first half, perhaps you could give it to Blythe Obar as well. Slim pickings today though.

Up Next: vs Oklahoma State Thursday 10/27 7 PM CST (ESPN+)

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No. 12 TCU Tops Baylor Soccer 2-0 on Windy Day in Waco

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