Victoria Wicks moved back to defender her freshman season to help out a loaded Baylor soccer team, and she admitted that there was an adjustment phase. This being her senior season, she got the opportunity to move back to her natural area of midfield and forward, and that transition has been much smoother.
Wicks scored the game's only goal Tuesday, as the Lady Red Raiders defeated Notre Dame at Baylor. The senior has an area-leading 16 goals for the season -- her first on offense in her five-year career.
Her goal, assisted by Natalie Daniel in the third minute, was a perfectly placed ball that came off a restart on a corner kick.
"I'm happy we were able to get the win today, but I know we have a lot of potential. We just have a long ways to go," Wicks said. "I'm glad I've been given the chance to play up top again. I had to learn defense pretty quickly when I was younger, but I have a lot more confidence up top."
Both coaches have had to play different levels of mixing-and-matching this season. Baylor's Jimmy Weekley has nine freshmen or eighth-graders on a 16-player roster, and most are having to contribute early for the Lady Red Raiders (6-0-3). They just recently lost sophomore Mary Elizabeth Clements to an injury for the rest of the season.
"We have a lot to fix offensively and defensively, but I'm proud of how hard we've played," Weekley said. "We're having to put some young girls out there in some key positions -- and there are a lot that are playing too soon in their careers -- but it's a process and we're getting better and better.
"We just want the girls to compete for 80 minutes, and whatever happens happens."
Notre Dame coach Jim Schermerhorn also hasa been making substantial adjustments, with position changes for some players. The Lady Irish had their share of opportunities Tuesday, which left their coach frustrated by the end result.
"We made nervous mistakes tonight," Schermerhorn said. "We worked hard, but we beat ourselves. We never settled down. It was like we were in panic mode tonight."
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.
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