The Baker Orange

Senior gives ‘Cats first win of season

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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After conceding a goal in the 78th minute of Saturday’s game against Ashford University, the story for the women’s soccer team seemed similar to their 2013 season. They would make one mistake late in the game and give up a goal to lose or tie. That explained their 7-5-7 record.

However, this mistake wasn’t stopping the 2014 women’s soccer team.

Senior leadership was all over the field in the last 10 minutes. Whether it was goalkeeper Rachel Theobald coming up with the big stops, seniors Bailey Sosa and Ashley Mauck dominating the middle, or the long ball from senior Shelby Schiraldi to set up senior Hillary Yoder’s game-winning goal.

“The second half there was a total shift in attitude and energy, and leadership for that matter,” coach Davy Phillips said. “Leadership was key for us second half.”

As Yoder received Schiraldi’s pass at the top of the 18-yard box, the Baker bench came to its feet. Yoder found the top-left corner of the net, burying the Ashford Saints. The bench met Hillary out on the field for an emotion-filled end to the season opener.

“Hillary’s been scoring a lot of goals in the preseason,” Phillips said. “If she gets a shot inside the 18 (yard box), she’s going to put it on frame.”

The game started out rough, however, with Baker not getting off a shot until early on in the second half. The Saints put up seven shots in the first half on Theobald, forcing her to work extra hard.

“The first half, I think they just freaked themselves out a little bit,” Phillips said. “ Composure was lacking a little bit.”

The Wildcats came back quickly after the half with more of an attack. The scoring started with sophomore Keeley Atkin finding the back of the net from 30 yards out and giving Baker the lead.

Atkin scored two goals in her home-opener in 2013 against the AIB School of Business. This was Atkin’s fourth career goal and third goal during home openers.

Ashford then jumped back out on the attack and was finally able to break the back line and score in the 78th minute when junior Alicia Tamburro beat Theobald to the back post, earning her 12th career goal.

“Even when giving up one we didn’t waver,” Phillips said. “We still kept our composure and kept getting at it and we got rewarded.”

Baker responded and fought its way back to a win, a promising start to a new year.

Yoder’s goal in the 87th minute is the type of goal that can change a season. This type of goal gives a team a sense of belief.

The women will make their way to California this Thursday to take on Westmont, Saturday, Aug. 30, and then Concordia-Irvine on Sept. 1.

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