Underclassmen find success for Wildcats

Story by Lauren Bechard

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While Keeley Atkin may think playing soccer at the college level is “nerve-racking,” the freshman on Baker University’s women’s soccer team showed no sign of tension on the field in the Wildcats’ home opener.

Atkin scored both goals during Sunday’s game, which led BU to its first victory of the season over AIB College of Business 2-0.

“I was really excited,” Atkin said. “I feel like I could have done even better out there, but two goals are two goals. It felt good.”

The victory came just one day after Baker traveled to Clinton, Iowa, to open its season with a 2-0 loss against Ashford University.

Junior goalkeeper Rachel Theobald thinks the loss was a “good learning experience.”

“I’m glad we got it under our belts, but we need to improve from there,” Theobald said. “Talking is one of our biggest weaknesses right now, so we need to focus on communicating with each other in a positive way that keeps the team working hard.”

Atkin wasn’t the only freshman to see the field this weekend. Eight other newcomers got playing time on Sunday, including freshman Taylor Baum, who recorded the assist on the Wildcats’ second goal.

“Our freshmen really stepped up this weekend,” Theobald said. “It’s up to the upperclassmen now, since we’ve played at a higher level, to show them how to keep pushing ourselves and we have to stay focused the whole game.”

Junior Alexa Fryer led Baker with seven shots, three on goal over the weekend. She also had the assist on the first score against AIB. Theobald recorded four saves during each game.

The Wildcats will return to North Park to take on Oklahoma City University at 3 p.m. Saturday.