Texas bounces back with win over Baylor

Isaac Gutierrez

After two consecutive conference losses, Texas regained its footing in the Big 12 race with a 2-1 win on the road against Baylor. The Longhorns now sit in second place in the conference with a record of 4–2. 

“I’m really proud of our team,” head coach Angela Kelly said. “In this conference, it's really hard to go on the road and steal points.”

Texas' defense returned to form after giving up four goals over the last two games. Kelly made the decision to start junior goalkeeper Savannah Madden against Baylor, replacing redshirt junior Nicole Curry, who has started 10 games this season.

While the Texas defense underwent a necessary improvement, it is the Texas offense that most greatly improved against Baylor. 

Before junior forward Haley Berg’s goal in the first half, Texas had played 146 straight minutes without scoring a single goal. This failure to convert on offense has been driven by the Longhorns’ undisciplined play, something Kelly said was as an area for improvement going forward. 

“I thought we just gave the ball away too often,” Kelly said. “We just needed to connect more passes and had poor decision-making at times.”

Not only did the Longhorns do a better job of securing possession against Baylor, they also took better advantage of the scoring opportunities their defense creates. 

Along with the aforementioned goal from Berg, Texas scored a second goal in the second half. This time, the score was courtesy of an unexpected source. 

In her second collegiate start, sophomore Cameron Brooks scored her first collegiate goal. Along with her own goal, she was credited with the assist for Berg’s goal. Kelly took notice. 

“I think she has a savvy to her,” Kelly said. “She doesn’t get rattled. She has a big physical presence, she attacks balls in the air, she holds the ball well, she whips balls in. She’s always had that. That’s why we recruited her, and I think tonight she definitely showed out.”

The Longhorns now have three matches remaining on their schedule, two of which, the ones with Oklahoma and Texas Tech, are against teams vying for a spot in the Big 12 Championship game that Texas would occupy if the season were to end today. The outcome of the team’s season will be decided by whether Texas performs like the team that dealt with Baylor on the road or the team that was stifled at home by Oklahoma State.