The Texas soccer team came out on top against Baylor 1-0 thanks to a gargantuan effort from senior goalkeeper Savannah Madden in the final home game of her Longhorn career.
The Bears made the 90-minute trip south on I-35 to take on an evenly matched Texas team, which came into the matchup nearly tied with Baylor in total points for the season.
While the 2020 Big 12 Soccer Championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game was vital in determining which squad will finish the season with the superior record.
The game started at an up-tempo pace and provided frequent scoring chances for both the Longhorns and Bears despite both teams largely struggling to score goals up to this point of the abbreviated season.
Baylor squandered an early scoring opportunity when redshirt sophomore midfielder Maddie Algya’s penalty shot went wide left after Texas freshman defender Lauren Lapomarda tripped up Baylor junior midfielder Taylor Moon in the goal box at the 3:56 mark.
Texas shifted momentum and netted the lone goal of the game 28 seconds later when junior outside back Cameron Brooks cashed in on a breakaway chance after being set up with a long and accurate pass from freshman forward Presley Echols.
Texas was able to keep the Bears off the board in the first half primarily due to Savannah Madden’s effectiveness in net. The goalkeeper made seven saves in the first half, including a number of high-difficulty stops to bail out repeated Texas defensive mishaps directly in front of her.
The Bears came out of the locker room looking to take advantage of sloppy Texas defensive play, while the Longhorns aimed to slow down a fast-paced Baylor team.
Texas initially did a better job of slowing things down to take the pressure off Madden for the first 18 minutes of the second half, until she was forced to make an excellent play at the top of the goal box to prevent Baylor freshman forward Mackenzie Anthony from leveling the score at one.
Madden again had to cover up a Texas defensive mistake at the 70-minute mark when she turned away Moon from 10 feet out to keep the score at 1-0 Texas.
Echols had a good opportunity to extend the Longhorn lead at the 73-minute mark, but Baylor senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt deflected the ball just enough to keep the Bears’ deficit at one.
Baylor once again squandered a prime scoring opportunity when Moon sent a close-range shot well left of the net with 8 minutes to play.
The Baylor front three consistently found success against the Texas backline throughout the match, especially in the closing minutes, but were unable to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.
Although they were overwhelmed in terms of possession all the way until the final whistle, the Longhorns found a way to win thanks to a nice goal from Brooks and a masterful performance in net that saw Madden match her career high in saves.