After having trouble scoring on the road for the last two weeks, the Baylor soccer team couldn’t wait to start burying shots at Betty Lou Mays Field.
With Julie James and Jackie Crowther leading the way with a pair of goals apiece, the Bears scored early and late as they pounded former Big 12 rival Nebraska, 6-0, on a breezy Sunday night.
The six goals were more than the four the Bears scored in three road games since their last home game, a 6-1 win over Samford on Aug. 19. Baylor (4-2) dropped two of the three road games, including Friday’s 3-2 loss to Arkansas in Fayetteville.
“After being on the road for a couple games, it’s always nice to be home, back on Betty Lou, sleeping in our own beds,” Crowther said. “It’s a great feeling to be at home on our own turf, to defend it, and to put it away. Every game, we’re trying to figure out a little more about who we are and what we’re about this season, so I think tonight was a good testament to what we’re going to continue to do.”
Baylor coach Paul Jobson was elated to see the Bears play so aggressively against a traditionally strong soccer program.
“I think people will see the score and if they don’t know women’s soccer, they’ll think Nebraska’s not a good team,” Jobson said. “Nebraska is a fantastic team. Traditionally, they’ve done a great job, they were in the Big 12 for a long time, so we knew what to expect. That’s a really good team over there that’s going to be a quality win coming down the stretch.”
Nebraska (3-2-1) attacked early but Baylor goal keeper Jennifer Wandt had three first-half saves and finished with five in her first start of the season. It marked the first game this year that she played the whole 90 minutes after previously splitting time with Hannah Parrish.
“We came out strong but we just weren’t ready for what they brought,” Wandt said. “So we needed to take those five to 10 minutes to find out what they were doing and calm down. I was happy that I could make a save or two in that five minutes to keep it at 0-0. But again the team figured it out super quickly and took it from there.”
Sarah King began Baylor’s prolific scoring 10 minutes into the game as she took advantage of Camryn Wendlandt’s header and nailed a goal.
Five minutes later, Taylor Moon fired a pass from the right side and James punched it through the goal.
Baylor’s next two goals came in even quicker procession just 20 seconds apart, which set a school record for the fastest back to back goals.
After Crowther chipped in a short shot, Giuliana Cunningham drove in a long shot from the left side to extend Baylor’s lead to 4-0 with 7:01 left in the first half.
Less than four minutes into the second half, James scored again after taking a pass from Wandt to open up a 5-0 lead. It was just the fifth assist by a goal keeper in Baylor history.
Crowther came through again with less than 12 minutes remaining as she took a pass from Emily Bunnell for her second goal.
“In the game of soccer when you go up 2-0 it’s really easy for the other team to get back into it,” Crowther said. “The fact that we were able to keep our momentum going really showed the maturity of our team. It’s awesome.”
The only setback for Baylor was losing talented freshman Maddie Algya in the opening minutes when she was helped off the field following a knee injury. Jobson didn’t know the extent of the injury after the game.