April 9, 2014
WACO, Texas - This spring, the Baylor soccer team is taking advantage of a short five-game schedule to give the young squad much needed game experience. The team is returning from a good season which ended in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament last fall. However, the loss of seven seniors requires the coaching staff to make adjustments and the younger players to step up and play more minutes.
Some of Baylor's returning weapons include midfielder Ashely York and forwards Natalie Huggins and Bri Campos. These three led the Bears in most offensive categories last season, combining for 16 goals and 60 shots on goal during 2013. Also returning for the Bears are goalkeepers Michelle Kloss and Sara Martinson. This duo shut out opponents 13 times in 20 games last season.
Campos, a sophomore and the team's leading scorer last year with 16 points and six goals, looks to have even more success in the coming fall. She has spent part of the offseason training with the Mexico's U20 National team in Mexico City in preparation for the U20 Women's World Cup, which takes place this summer. This will be her second summer in a row to play internationally, and this experience will no doubt benefit the team as a whole when Baylor's season kicks off in August.
As for the rest of the team, these five spring games are an opportunity for players who did not see a lot of the field in the fall to get some critical playing time.
"The spring also allows us to concentrate on the individual needs of our players, on the soccer field and in the weight room," said co-head coach Paul Jobson. He added that the coaching staff is impressed with the team's improvement and performance so far.
The spring results to the moment have been very promising. The Bears have yet to concede a goal in a tie with Houston Baptist and three victories over Oklahoma, Trinity, and Texas Tech, who finished the 2013 season ranked 17th in the country.
"I have been very happy with our fitness and our ability to close out games," Jobson said.
The team looks to continue this success against North Texas on April 11 at 7 p.m. CT in Denton. If the results of the spring are any indicator, Baylor soccer is in for an exciting fall.