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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Soccer Held Scoreless Again, Ties Kansas 0-0

September 28, 2023

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Baylor Soccer played the Kansas Jayhawks to a 0-0 draw on Thursday night despite hectic, end-to-end action. The teams combined for 35 shots and the Bears earned 11 corner kicks, but neither team could make the breakthrough.

The Bears looked the better team in the first half, dictating ball control to a greater degree and spending more time on the front foot. The Bears nine first-half shots included a few good chances like Tyler Isgrig teeing up Ashley Merrill from outside the 18-yard box in the direct center of the field and Hannah Boughton getting a low cross past the keeper but just beyond the reach of Callie Conrad. 

It looked as if the Bears were going to continue to build up the pressure and eventually find a breakthrough after heading into halftime scoreless.

However, the Baylor offense could not maintain the amount of control they had in the first frame.

After Zinnecker’s first touch let her down in a one-on-one opportunity with the Kansas keeper in the 51st minute, the hosts turned up their pressure and poured forward.

The Jayhawks sent 13 shots toward the Baylor goal in the second half, including a disappointing effort on a counterattack equal to Zinnecker’s rough first touch mentioned above. Both chances should have resulted in shots on goal.

The Bears’ final great chance of the night came with about 10 minutes to go when a Tyler Isgrig corner bounced to Blythe Obar. Obar’s powerful shot was deflected and spun barely wide right of the KU goal. The Jayhawk keeper was lost behind a mess of bodies and could not have stopped the ball had it been on goal.

The Bears now leave Lawrence for Manhattan with more questions than answers and an even greater need for a win.

Draws will not see this team to the Big 12 tournament in Round Rock. The team knows that. Coach Lenard was clear that they have to prove themselves, but the Bears still have not scored in 360 minutes of conference play.

The roster has taken a step up in system fit and skill from last year, but the team is not looking much more dangerous in the final third. 

Are the players trying to be too perfect? Are they focusing on doing what they’ve practiced more than reacting to the defense actually in front of them? Is there too much focus on scoring goals and not enough on simply putting pressure on defenders in unexpected ways (understanding that the goals should come if that is done effectively)? Is the team simply not as deep as their opponents and tiring out before they can break through?

These are just some of the questions that come to mind when ruminating on this 0-0 draw. Perhaps some are ill-informed, but so long as the Bears look to not have the answer on the field, the proper questions must be searched for and asked.

Baylor will have another chance to answer on Sunday as they visit Kansas State at 1 PM CST on ESPN+.

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Baylor Soccer Held Scoreless Again, Ties Kansas 0-0

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