Story Poster
Photo by Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor Soccer

No. 6 BYU Downs Baylor Soccer 4-0

September 21, 2023

WACO, Texas — Baylor Soccer was outclassed by the No. 6 BYU Cougars on Thursday night at Betty Lou Mayes field by the tune of 4-0.

The Bears gave up three rather weak first-half goals before Brecken Mozingo netted her second of the night and fourth overall for the Cougars during the second half.

The Bears knew they were up against one of the best programs in the nation heading into the game, but they were not ready for the fight at the start.

Ellie Boren for BYU got past Jenna Patterson on the left wing and turned Natalie Vatter around in the 13th minute before sending in what looked to be a miss-hit cross. However, it found the foot of her teammate Rachel McCarthy who guided a slow bouncing shot past Makinzie Short and right into the bottom right corner of the goal. 1-0 BYU.

Eight minutes later, Skye Leach and Hannah Augustyn ran into each other and turned the ball over just outside the Baylor 18-yard box. Allie Fryer pounced on the loose ball and slashed a low, speedy shot across Short and into the far left corner of the Baylor goal. 2-0 BYU.

The Bears needed to collect themselves and they largely did. The Green-and-Gold tightened up the defense not to allow another goal from open play for the rest of the half, earned a pair of corners and sent in a few shots at the BYU goal. Not the greatest offensive output, but better than the first 20 minutes of the game.

The best goal-scoring chance of the night for the Bears came during this period of play. In the 40th minute, Hannah Boughton found Salma Simonin in the BYU box for a great chance. The Manchester, UK native sent a nice left-footed shot past the Cougars’ keeper and off the crossbar. Callie Conrad sent a follow-up shot rolling wide left and the Bears would stay scoreless. 

Sadly, the Bears gave up a penalty with under one minute to go in the first half. Theresa McCullough left her feet to go for an airborne ball, but the ball beat her to the ground where a BYU player controlled it. McCullough landed on the player and was rightfully called for a foul. 

Brecken Mozingo stepped up for the Cougars and slotted the penalty into the right side of the Baylor goal. 3-0 BYU.

“We really needed to get to the half at 2-0,” said Baylor head coach Michelle Lenard after the game, “And I thought we gave up kinda bad goals in the first half.”

The second half was a much better half for the Bears. They changed their tactics a bit and were able to produce better offense because of it while also not conceding as many great chances to BYU. The Cougars had just nine shots in the second half compared to 20 in the first. Meanwhile, Baylor doubled their three first-half shots with six in the second.

“We changed something about our shape that helped [in the second half],” said Coach Lenard, “We’re trying to deal with their attacking threat. Our hope was that it didn’t force us into a low block but it did. So we made the adjustment and when we made the adjustment we were better.”

However, the home team never came quite as close to scoring as Simonin’s first-half shot off the crossbar.

With fifteen minutes to go in the game and the Bears looking unlikely to mount a furious comeback, Mozingo found the back of the net again for the Cougars to make it 4-0 BYU.

For the Bears, it was just the capper on a rough day at the office. 

“As a team, we didn’t defend well one-v-one in several critical moments,” Coach Lenard said.

Two ranked conference opponents have now come to Betty Lou and both have left with 4-0 wins. No. 25 Texas Tech is next on Sunday and they are fresh off of a 2-1 win over No. 16 Texas in Austin.

The Bears will need to rise to the occasion if they want to avoid an 0-3 start to Big 12 play. Coach Lenard will need to find a way to have her team ready in just three days because they simply have not looked ready in the first two conference games.

“I don’t know why we’re not ready but we’re not. They’re putting a lot more on us than we’re used to.

“We knew going in that we weren’t going to be where they are yet. Our goal is to minimize the difference and to continue to grow and learn from each game.”

There is time to learn from this game. There are still eight games left in the season and the opponents are only going to get easier from here. Texas Tech is a step down from BYU. And after Sunday, the three toughest teams in the conference will be behind the Bears.

Other positives to look at: 2022 leading goal-scorer Reneta Vargas made her season debut tonight and Simonin brought s spark or at least a different style to the attack that could help the Green-and-Gold down the road.

Also, Jenna Patterson, who left the game in the first half tonight with and injury, might be available Sunday Coach Lenard said. It was an ankle roll and they will know more in the coming days.

WotM — Salma Simonin — It was a rough night, but you could see her potential shine through.

Up Next — No. 25 Texas Tech (8-0-2) on Sunday, September 24th at 1 PM CST (ESPN+)

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.