The Bears are ranked in the top 14 by a trio of preseason top 25 polls.
Aug 15, 2013
WACO, Texas - Baylor soccer will get its first taste of outside competition on Saturday at noon CT as the 10th-ranked Bears travel to South Bend, Ind., to face No. 3 Notre Dame in the team's only exhibition contest of 2013.
The preseason matchup between two top 10 teams in Top Drawer Soccer's preseason poll is ideal for Baylor Co-Head Coach Marci Jobson as she has the team as ready as it can be through the first week of preseason camp.
"For really only having about seven practices, we've come as far as we can come in seven days," said Jobson. "We've squeezed every little bit out of these seven days with the girls working tremendously hard. They're fit, and right now, I have to make sure we have fresh legs heading into Saturday's game."
The Bears, who are also ranked 13th and 14th in the NSCAA and BennettRank preseason polls, respectively, made the same trip last preseason and reaped great benefit from it. Then unranked, Baylor walked away with a 1-1 tie against No. 12 Notre Dame in South Bend after Bri Campos knotted the game in the 88th minute. Nine days later, after a 2-0 start to the regular season, the Bears earned a No. 24 ranking by the NSCAA - the first time the program had been ranked since 1999. BU then went on to win its first Big 12 Championship title and reach the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time with a program-record 19 wins.
Despite having not lost a match since Aug. 26, 2012, Jobson isn't necessarily concerned with the result against Notre Dame - she's more concerned about evaluating the team in order to make the right adjustments in the final preseason practices next week.
"It's a great first trip to have to deal with a dress rehearsal travel situation and the different adversities that go along with it," Jobson said. "It's also good to face a team with a lot of national team kids on their team in Notre Dame. I look forward to playing a great opponent that first game. In a preseason game, I'm not looking to feel good about myself. I'm looking to see where our holes are so we can best prepare for the rest of the season. We are as prepared as we are going to be at this point. We just need another opponent other than ourselves."
After Saturday's contest, Baylor will have five more days to prepare for the season opener against UTSA on Aug. 23 at home.