HOUSTON -The Baylor women's soccer team captured a 1-0 victory over Rice on Friday night at the Rice Soccer Stadium in the season opener for both teams. Junior Alex Klein converted a header in the 40th minute to give the Bears the only goal of the contest.
"I am excited to start the season with a win against a tough opponent," head coach Marci Jobson said. "Now we can recover and focus on playing in our home stadium."
The goal from Klein was just her second career score and her first since October 1, 2010. The scoring chance came on an assist from freshman Katie Daigle, who made a run to the end line and sent a 40-yard cross towards the goal. Klein rose above a group of Rice defenders and redirected the ball to the upper-left corner of the net.
Michelle Kloss got the start in goal for Baylor and responded with a shutout and two saves. The redshirt sophomore benefited from a team-wide defensive effort that limited the Owls to eight shots with only two of those coming on goal.
"Our team defense was solid all-around and I was proud of our focus for 90 minutes," Jobson said.
Meanwhile, the Bears had 24 shots and nine on goal throughout the contest.
Baylor had several other chances to score in the first half, but the Bears were unable to convert. Just a minute into the match, senior forward Dana Larsen had a one-on-one opportunity, but Owl goalkeeper Amy Czyz made a diving stop. BU kept the pressure on the Rice defense over the next 10 minutes with four more shots. In total, Baylor outshot Rice 18-4 in first-half action.
The next scoring chance for the Bears came in the 38th minute as Klein gathered in a ball just outside the six-yard box, before spinning and sending a shot above Czyz's head. However, the goalkeeper's outstretched hand pushed the ball up and over the crossbar.
In the second half, the Bears controlled possession for much of the time as they worked to maintain their advantage.
Rice's best opportunity to knot the score came in the 82nd minute when Alex Burton slipped past the Baylor defense to track down a free ball at the top of the six-yard box. However, Kloss left her post and was able to beat Burton to the ball to preserve the shutout.
Baylor was close to adding to its lead in the 84th minute as Lisa Sliwinski corralled a bouncing ball off the corner of the six-yard box, but her shot was forced high in an effort to avoid a Rice defender who had fallen to the ground.
The Bears will next be in action on Sunday when they host Northwestern State at 1 p.m. Tickets for the match at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field are $5.