The Baker Orange

Men’s soccer has a rough first weekend

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The men’s soccer team’s 2014 campaign is off to a rocky start. The team exited the opening weekend with a 0-1-1 record after posting a draw with Missouri Baptist on Friday and losing to Ashford 3-0 on Saturday. Both games were at Liston Stadium.

With 30 seconds left in Friday’s game, the season-opener looked like it was taking a turn for the worse for the eighth-ranked Wildcats. Missouri Baptist had a one goal lead and time on its side.

Then, senior Preston Phillips sent a ball into the box in sophomore Keaton Anchors’ direction. This would be Baker’s last chance in regulation.

The result was the ball landing in the back of the net. With 18 seconds left, Anchors had tied the game by beating Missouri Baptist’s senior goalkeeper John Schnurbusch. The goal sent the game into two 10-minute extra time periods.

The momentum didn’t carry into the extra time for Baker, however, as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

The game’s first goal was scored by Missouri Baptist’s junior Jamie Skillen in the 53rd minute. Skillen played off the Spartans’ counter-attack, standing alone at mid-field and firing a 58-yard rocket from the 50-yard line. It went in over the outstretched arms of sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Emme.

“The guy scored a wonder-goal,” coach Nate Houser said. “Hats off to him.”

This was the only blemish on a solid day for Emme in his first collegiate start. Emme recorded two saves on the five shots struck by Missouri Baptist.

Anchors led the way for the Wildcats offensively. Anchors took five shots on goal, registering four of them on frame.

Baker was able to rattle off 20 shots with 14 of them on target.

“We had 14 shots on goal, but I would say he (the goalkeeper) wasn’t troubled by more than five of them,” Houser said.

Ten different players had at least a shot, with six of them finishing with at least two.

On Saturday the Wildcats welcomed the Ashford University Saints to Liston Stadium.

An early Adam Wood goal from Ashford put the Saints up 1-0 in the 23rd minute. Wood, a junior, transferred to Ashford from Midland University, and he scored against Baker in the opening round of the NAIA championship round of 32 in November.

Ashford kept the scoring going into the second half with junior Luiz Mota striking from outside the box to put Ashford up 2-0 with 39 minutes to play.

The scoring didn’t stop there. Freshman Casey Culver slipped another goal past Emme in the 67th minute to put the deficit to three goals and ensure the Saints’ victory in Baldwin City.

Freshman Blake Levine had two shots in his first games as a Wildcat, putting three of them on target.

Junior Amer Didic had three shots over the weekend while playing in all 200 minutes of the action.

The team’s next test will be traveling to Kentucky to take on two former NAIA champions. They will face Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky) on Aug. 30 and Bethel (Tennessee) the following day.