Men’s soccer falls twice at Lindsey Wilson Classic

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The No. 8 ranked Baker University men’s soccer team traveled to Columbia, Kentucky, to take on ranked opponents in No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 22 Bethel (Tenn.) at the Lindsey Wilson Classic. The Wildcats walked away with losses on Saturday and Sunday.

The Wildcats first took on Lindsey Wilson in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Game of the Week. Both teams drew even through the first half, but just three minutes into the second half, LWC struck first blood. The Blue Raiders were able to connect on a corner kick from sophomore Aleksi Pahkasalo to find the head of junior Billal Qsiyer and take the lead, 1-0.

Lindsey Wilson wasted no time in striking again. A quick two minutes later, Pahkasalo was lethal off another set piece. This time he found junior Adis Islamovic with a header over the outstretched arms of Baker’s sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Emme.

With Baker trailing 2-0 in the 57th minute, the game went into a weather delay. While the scoring stymied there, the Blue Raider offensive effort didn’t weaken after the break. Lindsey Wilson continued to fight in the attack with multiple scoring chances throughout the second half and nine corner kicks on the night. Emme recorded four saves.

Baker had six shots on the night and only two in the second half compared to Lindsey Wilson’s 10 total shots. Junior Chris Tuso and sophomore Matt Hamm led the way with two shots each for the Wildcats. Senior Preston Phillips and freshman Blake Levine each took one shot. Lindsey Wilson’s sophomore goalkeeper Dalyan Hawes recorded his first clean sheet at Lindsey Wilson.

On Sunday against No. 22 Bethel, Bethel’s attacks were strong early in the game as freshman Kebba Demba started the scoring with a goal past Baker’s sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Akin in the 11th minute. The scoring didn’t stop there; freshman Rick Rokohl added the second goal of the half in the 37th minute and then Debba struck for his second goal of the game in the 43rd minute to give Bethel a 3-0 lead heading into the locker room. Bethel outshot Baker 10-3 in the first half.

Junior Amer Didic scored Baker’s lone goal of the weekend in the 70th minute. Didic fired two shots along with Levine and junior Diego Ordonez. Junior Enrique Garcia scored Bethel’s fourth and final goal of the night in the 80th minute to put Bethel up, 4-1. The second half finished a bit rough with 26 fouls between the two teams including a red card received by sophomore Keaton Anchors in the 88th minute.

Baker returns home with an 0-3-1 record and just two goals scored in its first four games. The Wildcats have over a week until their next game against Park University at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Liston Stadium.