Longhorn women’s soccer elevates defense to defeat Baylor 4-0

Christina Huang

While the matchup history between Texas and Baylor has been highly contested, Wednesday night proved a one-sided affair in favor of the Longhorns.

Before Wednesday, the Texas women’s soccer team’s last sixteen meetings with the Bears were either decided by one goal or required overtime. However, in their first conference game of the spring season, the Longhorns pounced on Baylor from the opening whistle and cruised to a 4-0 victory. After beating Baylor 1-0 in the fall season, Texas responded with an offensive explosion in Waco.

Texas’ first pair of goals came from the team’s dominant upperclassmen duo of Haley Berg and Julia Grosso. Berg marked her final career trip to Waco with Texas’ first goal of the night. Grosso, who assisted Berg on her goal, scored her own shortly after to put the Longhorns up 2-0.

While Texas’ upperclassmen got the team started, it was a dynamic freshman who continued to turn heads as she’s done all season. Midfielder Lexi Missimo nabbed her second career goal in the first half.

Missimo, who enrolled early this spring out of Southlake Carroll High School, has rapidly adapted to collegiate play, head coach Angela Kelly said.

“She’s a world-class player. She’s quickly jumped into the pace of the collegiate game, and she just has great vision,” Kelly said. “When you put her in and amongst Haley Berg and Julia Grosso, they can do some special stuff.”

Texas stalled on the offensive end in the second half, but senior goalkeeper Savannah Madden prevented Baylor from getting back in the game. Madden, fresh off being named the Big 12 Conference Goalkeeper of the Week, blocked a career-high 12 shots on goal from the Bears.

Madden has yet to allow a single goal scored on her during the 2021 calendar year.

The offensive prowess of Berg, Grosso and Missimo, coupled with Madden’s solid defense, has propelled Texas to a 3–0 record in the spring portion of the season after finishing 4–5 in the fall.

Texas can add up to two more games to its win streak as the Longhorns head into the final stretch of their spring slate.

The Longhorns will head down to Baton Rouge next Friday to face the LSU Tigers before closing out the spring season at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks on April 15.

“We have to continue to raise the ceiling, continue to improve in training and tighten up where we need to, but [I’m] pretty excited about where we are,” Kelly said.