WACO, Texas - The Baylor women's soccer team will continue preparation for the 2012 season by traveling to Notre Dame on Sunday for an exhibition match at noon (CT).
The Bears, who were picked to finish third in the Big 12 this season, will be looking to follow up on a historic 2011 campaign. Last season, Baylor produced a 15-4-3 overall record and a 5-2-1 mark in conference action. The 15 overall wins tied the 1998 Big 12 Champion team for the second-most victories in a season and the squad became the first team in program history to advance past the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Baylor is returning 22 players, including seven starters from last season's squad.
"Sunday is a great opportunity for us," head coach Marci Jobson said. "This will help us continue to get the rust out and continue to help us come together as a group as we see who is going to fill certain spots."
The Fighting Irish will be playing their second preseason match, after beating Virginia, 2-0, in action on Friday. Notre Dame was selected to win this season's Big East title in a vote by the league's coaches, after claiming 14 conference titles since 1995 (10 divisional and four overall).
Notre Dame returns six starters from last season's team that posted a 10-8-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 19th consecutive season. The head coach for the Fighting Irish, Randy Waldrum, served in the same position at Baylor from 1996-98. He directed the Bears to a Big 12 title in his final season.
"Notre Dame is a great, great team," Jobson said. "I think they are going to be a top team. Randy (Waldrum) always does a great job. I am just happy we are going to be able to play against somebody great right away."
Following its lone exhibition match, Baylor will begin the 2012 regular season at Rice on Friday at 7 p.m. Friday's match will mark the third time in the last five years that the Bears will start a season on the road.