Men’s soccer keeps win streak alive

Story by Lauren Bechard

The Baker University men’s soccer team remains undefeated in Heart of America Athletic Conference play after a 2-0 shutout over Graceland University Saturday.

The Wildcats have won six games in a row to improve their record to 8-3-1 overall and 2-0 in the HAAC.

“I think (the win streak) has a lot to do with our work ethic and the way that we train every day,” senior goalkeeper Matt Bickley said. “It doesn’t matter who we play as long as we come out and play our own game. We like to work really hard and outwork everyone we play.”

The victory over the Yellowjackets came in front of the Wildcats homecoming crowd. Although the stands were full with both Baker and Graceland fans, Bickley didn’t feel like there was any more pressure to play well, saying “it was just like any other game.”

The first 67 minutes of play were scoreless until freshman substitute Matt Hamm knocked one in for the Wildcats following an assist from junior Preston Phillips.

Sophomore substitute Austin Shiney made his first goal of the season in the 81st minute to seal the deal for the ‘Cats.

“I think we are really deep in the fact that our starters don’t ever really get any goals,” Bickley said. “They do a really good job of helping … and when we get those fresh legs out there, the intensity actually gets higher because we trust everyone that comes on the field.”

Bickley recorded seven saves in goal for his fifth shutout of the season.

“I feel like the shutouts have a lot to do with the guys in front of me,” Bickley said. “They trust me to make saves, but I trust them to prevent shots and prevent opportunities. The success from the 10 guys in front of me has a lot to do with it.”

Baker looks to continue its win streak as the Wildcats travel to take on HAAC rival MidAmerica Nazarene University on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Olathe.