Schiraldi pushes Wildcats past OCU

Story by Lauren Bechard

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After just three games into the Baker University women’s soccer season, junior Shelby Schiraldi said “the standard has been set” for the team.

The Wildcats stepped onto their home field on Saturday where they upset the No. 8 Oklahoma City University 1-0.

“Aside from beating such a good team, we personally have improved so much since the two games we’ve already played,” Schiraldi said. “We showed who we really are and what we can do. We still haven’t reached to our full potential yet, but the pace, energy level, and positivity was where it should be every game.”

Schiraldi contributed to the optimism her team sported on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal in the 32nd minute of the first half.

Not only was it the lone goal of the game, it was also the only goal of the junior defender’s collegiate career. The goal left some of her teammates saying it was the best they had ever seen.

Schiraldi was positioned for a free kick in the far-right corner of OCU territory, nearly at the corner of the field. She tried to place the ball in front of the goal for one of her teammates to knock in, but instead bent the kick high enough over every player including the OCU goalkeeper, where it landed safe and sound in the back of the net.

“Before it even went in, I knew it was going into the goal,” Schiraldi said. “I know when I kick the ball sometimes it will curve, and when it did I was so excited. I just started screaming and running to my teammates. It was kind of a shock because I never score.”

Schiraldi hopes Baker will keep the same mentality it had when playing Oklahoma City as the team continues its season.

The Wildcats will return home on Monday to take on Columbia College at 5 p.m. at Liston Stadium.