MNU ends men’s soccer winning streak

Story by Lauren Bechard

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The winning streak has come to an end for the No. 14 Baker University men’s soccer team.

After 108 minutes of action, No. 19 MidAmerica Nazerene University took Baker down 2-1 in the second overtime of the game on Wednesday.

Senior captain Andy Griffin says his team looked “sluggish” and lacked enthusiasm on the field.

“We were ready to play, we just didn’t play the way we needed to,” Griffin said. “It wasn’t one of our better games, let’s put it that way.”

The loss came as the Wildcats’ first since Sept. 8 and marks the only time they’ve lost in Heart of America Athletic Conference action this season.

“They weren’t a better team than us by any means,” Griffin said. “If we played the way we can play, it wouldn’t have been a competition.”

Griffin looks at the defeat as a stepping stone toward improvement.

Senior Ben Coyle scored the lone goal for Baker against MNU in the 17th minute of the game. After an assist from sophomore Robert Hoeven, Coyle ripped a shot, finishing it in the lower right corner of the goal.

However, just one minute later, MidAmerica Nazarne would get on the scoreboard with a goal from Lippi Souza. Both teams remained scoreless until Jonathon Babcock would send another one past senior goalkeeper Matt Bickley to earn the victory.

Despite giving up two goals, Bickley had three saves between the pipes to improve his record to 41 saves on the year.

MNU outshot Baker’s offense 15-10 during the game. Coyle and sophomore Amer Didic led the ‘Cats with two shots.

The Wildcats now possess a 8-4-1 record on the season and are 2-1 in conference play.

In its next HAAC matchup, Baker will face Benedictine. The Wildcats fell to the Ravens 5-4 last season and are looking for redemption this time around.

“We’re treating (the upcoming game) just like any other game,” Griffin said. “The upperclassmen know what to expect, but for the most part, we are only worried about ourselves. We aren’t worried about them because it’s up to us to win.”

The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Liston Stadium.