Sunday, October 15, 2017
Baylor goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt could've taken the day off.
The outcome of Sunday's match against the Kansas soccer team wouldn't have changed if backup Hannah Parrish had stepped into the net. It wouldn't have changed if both had played the position simultaneously or if Baylor had opted to go without a goalkeeper — at least solely based off how things unfolded.
"You've got to have it on target to have a chance to score," said KU coach Mark Francis after his team's 1-0 loss to Baylor. "We didn't test the keeper today."
Wandt played all 90 minutes without recording a save.
The Jayhawks (7-7-2, 2-3-1 Big 12) had plenty of chances, tallying 11 shots spread out between eight different players, but they were held without a shot on goal for just the third time in program history.
The most recent instance was in 2013. The time before that, multiple players on the team hadn't been born.
"I think we created a lot of opportunities," said midfielder Alex Schweitzer, "but not having those game-defining moments in the attacking third was what killed us."
She wasn't wrong.
In the second half alone, the Jayhawks had a sequence of three chances that probably should have resulted in at least one goal.
In the 68th minute, Katie McClure played a ball into Sophie Maierhofer, who passed it to Lois Heuchan on the edge of the six-yard box.
Heuchan turned toward the goal and shot it — "That looked like the closest chance," Schweitzer would later say" — but it missed wide left.
Heuchan got another chance moments later, heading a ball from a similar distance that missed in the same direction. Madison Meador also had a chance at a header, but it sailed over the bar.
"I don't know what it is. If I knew what it was, I would've fixed it a long time ago," Francis said. "Maybe it's focus, maybe it's just a little bit of composure in certain situations. I'm not sure."
Fortunately for the Jayhawks, the Bears (10-3-2, 4-2-1) were going through the exact same thing, at least until they weren't.
After having their first 12 shots veer off target, the Bears finally pulled in front in the 78th minute, as Aline De Lima received a ball from Raegan Padgett and slotted it past KU goalkeeper Maddie Dobyns.
That chance marked the Bears' lone shot on target for the match. They were officially credited with a second — and Dobyns with a save — on a shot by Kennedy Brown that was struck right after the final buzzer, but it likely wouldn't have counted even if it had fallen into the net.
"It's the small details for us right now. It's not like we've got to go back to the drawing board and reinvent the wheel," Francis said. "We're playing well. It's just ... those details for us are causing us to lose games."