KANSAS CITY, Mo. –
Not around for last season's championship run, Baylor freshmen Ashley York and Lindsay Burns didn't waste any time making their presence felt at this year's Big 12 Soccer Championship.
York's left-footed shot off a heel pass by Burns in the 58th minute lifted the defending champion Bears to a 1-0 triumph over Iowa State Wednesday in the first quarterfinal match of the day at Swope Soccer Village.
Going with the wind in the second half, Baylor had a decided advantage in the offensive end, outshooting the Cyclones, 8-2. Iowa State did not take its first shot of the half until the 82nd minute.
"The wind definitely affected the way the game was played," said Baylor co-head coach Marci Jobson, whose team had a gusty northwesterly wind at their backs in the second half. "It's easier to advance the ball and your shots seem like their coming with more pace. It was nice that we took advantage and scored the goal.
After a handful of chances early in the half, York finally broke through 13 minutes in with her sixth goal of the season. Junior Natalie Huggins started the play, crossing a pass from the near corner deep into the near side of the box, where Burns used her heel to direct the ball to a wide open York, who did the rest with a shot into the far corner of the net.
"Lindsay just made a nice touch on the play," York said. "It all happened so quick that I don't remember much of it, but it was a big for us."
Jobson said that a regular season loss to Iowa State – 1-0 in overtime on Oct. 18 – served as motivation for her team.
"I think more than anything, remembering that loss made us angry," said Jobson. "I think we came out and played angry in the second half, because that was definitely one of our toughest losses of the season. We didn't want to let that happen again."
Playing in its first conference tournament since 2007, Iowa State tried to mount a rally late in the second half, but could not penetrate the Baylor defense. Baylor goalkeeper Michelle Kloss needed to make just two saves to ice her 11th shutout of the season, which set the school's single-season record.
Iowa State goalkeeper Maddie Jobe kept the Cyclones alive with five saves, including a leaping deflection of a high-arching shot off the foot of Larissa Campos in the 52nd minute.
The action was more even in the first half when Iowa State outshot the Bears, 10-8. The Cyclones' best opportunity to score came in the 25th minute when senior Jessica Reyes' blast from 20 yards out drew crossbar, but was cleared by the Bears' defense.
"That was a rocket," Iowa State interim head coach Tony Minatta said. "I was already jumping up and down when it hit the crossbar. I thought it was in."
"I think the wind really affected our ability to clear the ball in the second half, and then Baylor puts so much pressure on you that it made it tough for us to get any chances until the end of the half."
Huggins led Baylor's offense with three shots in the match, while four other Bears chipped in a pair of attacks. Koree Willer paced the Cyclones with two shots.
Baylor (11-5-3) advances to face the winner of Kansas-West Virginia at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening. Iowa State finishes the tournament with an overall record of 9-9-2.