Baker defeats Avila, starts 2-0 in HAAC

Story by Kyle Davis

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The Baker women’s soccer team grounded the Eagles Tuesday, snapping Avila’s four-game winning streak in a 3-0 win at Liston Stadium.

The Wildcats have won three consecutive games and are 2-0 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

“A lot of people underestimate us every single year, so it’s our time,” junior Jennifer Haynes said.

After a near own-goal by Avila, Haynes kicked off the festivities with a goal that deflected off an Avila defender in the 22nd minute. Sophomore Alix Schiraldi set up the goal with a pass back to Haynes after a corner kick.

Baker went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, and did not waste time extending the lead in the second half.

Nearly five minutes into the second half, senior Gina Schiraldi drove a ball off a free kick that was headed in by her sister, Alix, to put the ‘Cats up by two. Alix was not done yet, however, finding the net again in the 59th minute off a free kick by Haynes.

“I really never score with my head, so that was pretty exciting,” Alix said.

She also said it was exciting when she and her sister connect on plays such as her first goal.

Her second multi-goal performance this season improved her total to eight, which leads the team.

Avila was hardly able to control the ball, especially in the second half, as the Baker defense recorded its third consecutive shutout and its sixth shutout of the season.

“Our defense is really strong. They play really aggressive and I think a lot of teams are starting to get to the point that (the defense is) something to be scared of,” Alix said.

Baker started conference play at Central Methodist University Saturday, and came away with a 5-0 victory. Alix and Gina Schiraldi, as well as junior Christine Janssens, seniors Mikayla Medlock and Rachel Shepard all scored for the Wildcats. Baker out-shot Central Methodist 23-7, while goalkeeper Maggie Dupes recorded three saves in the shutout.

Next up for the Wildcats is William Jewell College at 6 p.m. Saturday at Liston Stadium for homecoming. The Cardinals defeated Central Methodist 5-0 Tuesday to move to 6-2-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the HAAC.

“I think that we have a lot of confidence going into this match,” junior Haley Oborny said. “We know we’re a really good team, so I think we’re going to have a really good chance against them if we come out strong.”