WSOC Recap: Lamar scores win; TCU and Baylor play to draw

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Cards Blank Bobcats Friday Night, 1-0

Story courtesy: Will McFarland, Lamar Assistant Director of Media Relations

In a game that featured 20 fouls, 14 corner kicks and 35 combined shot attempts, Lamar University’s soccer team came out on top with a 1-0 shutout of Texas State, capturing the first program win over the Bobcats. The Cardinal goalie Nicole Panis had four saves, and Esther Okoronkwo scored the first Cardinal goal of 2020 to put Big Red over the top.

“We’re really proud of the team’s effort. They were excited about the opportunity to play and they took full advantage of it. We asked them to come out and compete, and they did just that,” said associate head coach Henry Zapata. “The first fifteen minutes you could tell there were some jitters, but once we settled down, we were able to create some opportunities. Esther was able to capitalize and put one in the back of the net. It was a great team defensive effort to keep a shutout. Nicole came up with a big time save in the second half that kept us in the lead. Then the team worked hard to see the win out. We’re very happy with the result and look forward to the next opportunity to get back out there and play.”

The Cards and Bobcats battled evenly through most of the first half until the stout Cardinal defense did not allow Texas State to get a shot off from the 21st minute to the 41st minute. Redshirt senior Esther Okoronkwo tallied four shots on the evening and tallied the lone goal in the 39th minute for Lamar.

The Bobcats came out looking like a different team in the second half then the first half. The Cards could not get anything going offensively until the 56th minute when seniors Madison Ledet and Sophia Manibo rattled off four shots within near minutes of each other.

The Cardinals outshot Texas State in shot attempts, 18-17, and shots on goal (7-4). LU stayed out of foul trouble for most of the night, only recording six totals in 90 minutes of action compared to Texas State’s 14 committed fouls. The Bobcats recorded nine corner kicks to Lamar’s five.

Several newcomers made their Cardinal debuts. Sophomore Nicole Panis got the starting nod in goal for the Cards, while freshmen Arely Alaniz and Julissa Farias and junior Sarah Zimmer also made their debuts.

The Cardinals are not scheduled to play again until Friday, Oct. 16 when they travel to Lafayette, La. to take on Louisiana. Kick off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (CT).


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SOC Battles in Season-Opening Draw Against TCU

Story courtesy: Jerry Hill, Baylor Bear Insider

Starting four freshmen and two other players coming off injuries, Baylor soccer coach Paul Jobson knew there might be a few rough spots in Friday’s season opener against a veteran-dominated TCU team. 

That’s why he wasn’t surprised in the least when the visiting Horned Frogs came out and dominated play in the first half, outshooting the Bears, 12-3, and spending most of the period on Baylor’s defensive end of the field. 

Despite a 26-9 disparity in shots for the game, Baylor survived TCU’s onslaught and fought through 110 physically demanding minutes in a 0-0 tie at Betty Lou Mays Field. 

“We grew up a lot in the first 45 minutes,” said Jobson, whose team opened the season with a draw for the first time since a 1-1 tie at Rice in 2009. “I was really proud of their resiliency, their ability to keep fighting and scrapping defensively. I told them afterwards, that was probably one of the better TCU teams I’ve seen in a long time.”

Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt recorded her 26th career save, moving up to a tie for second all-time with Michelle Kloss and one shy of the school record set by Hall of Famer Dawn Greathouse. 

Wandt finished with five saves, but also got plenty of help from a back line of Kayley Ables, Sarah Norman and freshmen Sarah Hornyak and Chloe Japic

“I really thought the whole team for the whole 110 minutes did a great job of throwing their body in front of everything,” Wandt said, “because sometimes it looked like they were going to have a shot and I was going to have to make a save. But then, Norman would come sliding in and clear it out. It was a really good team defensive game.”

Led by forward Grace Collins and midfielder Yazmeen Ryan, TCU peppered shots at Wandt all night, forcing her to make a diving stop and at least two punch-outs. A preseason All-Big 12 pick, Ryan nearly ended the scoreless tie at the end of the first half, but Wandt was able to deflect it at the last second. 

“I think in the first half, we were all so nervous and uptight,” said freshman forward Mackenzie Anthony. “You could see that we played with more heart in the second half and I just thought we worked together better as a team.”

TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado had a quiet first half, with the Bears getting off just three shots and none on goal. But in the first five minutes of the second half, she had to make saves on shots by freshman Gabby Mueller and sophomore Elizabeth Kooiman

“We just built confidence as we realized we could play with them,” Jobson said of becoming more aggressive offensively in the second half. “We worked really hard defensively. We had to calm down a little bit on the ball. As the game went on, we were able to do that, and I think that’s why you saw a little more success as we moved forward with the game.”

TCU had the only three shots in the first 10-minute overtime period, but the Bears had two of their best scoring chances in the second OT with Alvarado saving a breakaway attempt by Taylor Moon in the eighth minute and then deflecting away a shot by Anthony with 20 seconds left. 

“I saw 20 seconds on the clock and knew we had to get a shot off,” Anthony said. “In the last minute, I was like, ‘If I get the ball, I’m turning and shooting.’ That was my first instinct, I kept telling myself that. And I got the shot off.”

Jobson said the Bears have a lot to build off going into back-to-back road games at Texas Tech next Friday and Iowa State on Sept. 25. 

“I told them after the game, I was just really proud of them,” Jobson said. “They could have lost heart in that first half. There were times where we were literally struggling to gain our feet, our momentum. Young players, at times, can be defeated. So, credit to our veterans for keeping them energized and believing in them, and them getting right back up and getting after it again.”


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Soccer drops its 2020 season opener to Kansas, 1-0

Story courtesy: University of Texas Athletics

It was Texas that created the most dangerous chances early on in the contest as both Grosso (7:41) and junior forward Mackenzie McFarland (11:44) each forced saves from KU goalkeeper Sarah Peters.

Grosso was at it again in the 21st minute as the Vancouver, British Columbia, native drove an effort on frame.

Senior midfielder Emily Strouphauer soon made it four straight Texas shots to begin the contest as her effort from inside the box traveled up and well over the crossbar at 25:54.

The Jayhawks finally managed their first shot of the contest at the 28:21 mark as midfielder Ryan Childers drove a lengthy effort into the hands of UT senior netminder Savannah Madden.

Neither squad was able to create much over the remainder of the first half as KU had two shots blocked away by the Texas defense to send the teams to the break locked at 0-0.

Kansas was on the front foot coming out of the locker room as midfielder Ceri Holland (45:48) and forward Brie Severns (51:27) had efforts deflected away by UT’s “D.”

The Longhorns eventually forced Peters into more action between the pipes on junior forward Cameron Brooks’ drive at 65:39 and at 71:04 on another Strouphauer chance, while Kansas got a shot on frame from sub Gracely Briley at 68:02.

It was KU that eventually broke the scoreless deadlock at the 80:44 mark. Holland received a pass out on the left wing, made a quick move to her right past a defender towards the top edge of the box and somehow beat Madden with a low bouncing shot inside the left post.

With the Burnt Orange & White suddenly chasing an equalizer, KU’s defense managed to limit the Longhorns to one final effort as Brooks’ shot at 89:50 ventured harmlessly over the top.

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