WACO – In its first match, the University of Minnesota soccer team (0-0-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) opened the 2022 season with a 1-1 draw against Baylor University (0-0-1, 0-0-0 Big 12) at Betty Lou Mays Field on Thursday night.
McKenna Buisman and Khyah Harper led the Gophers in shots with three, followed by Sophia Romine who notched two. It was also a night of firsts, as transfers Romine and Gabbie Cesarone made their first appearance as Gophers alongside freshman Sophia Barjesteh.
"We're disappointed with the tie," said head coach Erin Chastain. "I thought we played a great first half and beginning of the second. When we missed a few chances, we lost a little bit of our discipline. But this is our starting point and we're looking forward to competing against TCU, learning lessons and getting better from this one."
A quiet first half was highlighted by chances from Lauren Donovan, Buisman and Harper. Baylor matched Minnesota's offensive drive, but the lone shot on frame was saved by Megan Plaschko.
The Gophers' momentum picked up in the second half at the 52-minute mark with a bar-down goal from Harper. Harper hit the shot just outside the 18-yard box on her own. Minnesota kept up the pressure, adding four more shots on the Bears' keeper.
Despite posting only one save Plaschko came out big, diffusing multiple opportunities Baylor had in the final third. Through the 80th minute, she kept Baylor scoreless until sophomore Haven Terry evened the score.
Minnesota's next contest will take place on Aug. 21, on the road against TCU (0-0-1, 0-0-0 Big 12). The Horned Frogs are coming off a tie against fellow Big Ten opponent, Wisconsin.