Women’s soccer shows improvement

Story by Lauren Bechard

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Before its game against McPherson College, Nate Houser, the Baker University head women’s soccer coach, hoped the competition would provide a chance for the team to get better.

His wishes were answered on Wednesday as the Wildcats took down the Bulldogs 4-0.

Junior Alexa Fryer says the game was a “positive step forward” for the team’s 4-3-1 overall record this season.

“We came out really focused, ready to score early,” Fryer said. “I think our intensity set the tone for the game.”

Four different players were able to find the back of the net in the shutout against the Bulldogs including Fryer, freshman Krista Hooper, sophomore Shaylynn Eldridge-McMillan and junior Shelby Schiraldi.

After a mix-up in front of the goal, Fryer finally finished the ball past McPherson’s goalkeeper to give Baker a 1-0 lead early in the first half.

Both Hooper’s and Eldridge-McMillan’s goals were headers that also came during the first half of play.

Schiraldi’s goal, which was the second of the defender’s collegiate career, came from a free kick nearly 35 yards out in the 67th minute of the game.

Junior goalkeeper Rachel Theobald earned the shutout for the Wildcats with four saves during the game.

Fryer would like for the Wildcats to continue playing with an intense mindset and hopes they will start as strong as they did against McPherson in their games to come. <br/>

“Our team chemistry is building and you can tell,” Fryer said. “We had a rough start (this season), but we are starting to get more comfortable, and I think we’re headed uphill from here.”

Houser also wants the Wildcats to keep learning and applying their knowledge when they play.

“We’ve had some good results and we’ve had some disappointing results,“ Houser said. “Now, it’s a question of how we continue to mature. I think if we continue to move forward and grow into a team, I really like who we could become. It’s potentially very, very exciting.”

Houser expects the team to come prepared emotionally day-in and day-out.

Baker will have the opportunity to show its home crowd what its made of as the Wildcats take on Kansas Wesleyan at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Liston Stadium.