Baylor Soccer wins NCAA Tournament opener over Rice

WACO, Texas Baylor soccer (14-5-2, 4-4-1 Big 12) rallied from an early deficit and punched home a gamewinner late to down the Rice Owls (12-4-2), 3-2, on Friday evening at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.

The Bears fell behind early, with Rice notching the first goal on the board in the 17th minute. Passing into the box behind the BU backline, the Owls were able to punch in the early goal to take the 1-0 lead.

It took less than 10 minutes for the Bears to turn the tide, with BU tying the match back in the 25th. Lauren Piercy served in a pass on a corner kick that found Julie James. After James’ shot bounced through and back, it gave Precious Akanyirige an opening, with the senior defender driving in the tying goal to even the score at 1-1.

Just 1:44 late, in the 26th minute, Piercy worked a pass in to Aline De Lima, catching the midfielder in the box and allowing De Lima to lace a left-footed bullet through to the net, giving BU the 2-1 lead.

In the 56th minute, the Owls settled the score back at 2-2, again cutting behind the BU backline and finding the net on sharp passing.

Pushing late and continuing to dominate the shot count, it was Piercy again who found Raegan Padgett on a pass, working Padgett into the box to take her shot, netting the gamewinner in the 74th minute.

Solid defense and continued aggressive attack preserved the lead down the stretch, with BU holding on to the win and advancing into the second weekend of play.