The Baker Orange

Women’s soccer earns 2-0 win against Ottawa

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The women’s soccer team defeated the Ottawa University Braves 2-0 Wednesday night to push its record to 6-3-0 for the season.

Ottawa retained possession for the majority of the first half as the Braves racked up five corner kicks and three shots on senior goalkeeper Rachel Theobald in the opening minutes.

The Wildcats had three shots throughout the first 45 minutes but couldn’t quite find the striking moment to capitalize. Sophomores Gabrielle Betsch and Keeley Atkin fired two of the three first half shots.

There was a scary moment in the 14th minute when the three-time NAIA All-American Shelby Schiraldi was knocked to the turf after taking an Ottawa shot from freshman Caroline Jenkins right off her forehead. After a moment to gather her breath, Schiraldi would continue to play.

The game remained scoreless at halftime 0-0.

The second half was a different story as Baker turned the table and came out attacking. Senior Bailey Sosa and freshman Megan Johnson alongside Atkin led the charge in the opening minutes.

In the 52nd minute, last week’s conference player of the week sophomore Krista Hooper flicked a header downfield for Sosa as she was tripped up and fouled just outside the 18-yard box. The ‘Cats are lucky Schiraldi was not injured earlier in the game, which she proved in the next play.

Schrialdi stood over the ball 20 yards from the goal. She had a wall of four Ottawa defenders blocking the right half of the goal from her. The senior stepped up with the outside of her right foot, bent the ball over the wall, and into the top right corner for Baker’s first goal of the evening and Schiraldi’s second goal of the season. An absolute firecracker. 1-0, Baker.

The Baker defense continued to give Ottawa trouble but the Braves were still able to rattle off six shots throughout the second half. Jenkins fired two shots on Theobald as well as juniors Morgan Trupp and Brooklyn Davis.

In the 68th minute junior Jenna Carducci went on a tear down the middle of the box after sophomore Jessica Hillebert’s through ball. Carducci was tripped up right outside the six and Baker was awarded a penalty kick.

Hooper stood over the ball on the spot and was one-on-one with Ottawa’s sophomore goalkeeper Samantha Gitmed. Hooper went left and Gitmed dove and punched it away. Hooper followed up the block with her second shot and Gitmed caught the ball for an incredible double save to keep the Braves alive.

With just nine minutes left to play, Baker had a corner kick and Schiraldi sent it to the middle of the box for Hooper. Hooper’s header was saved and dropped by Gitmed allowing freshman Megan Johnson to finish it off right in front of the net and give Baker a two-goal cushion.

The Wildcats held strong for the remainder of the second half and would go on to win with the final score 2-0. Hooper led the way attacking with four shots to match her four Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards in her first two seasons.

Theobald made six saves on the evening for her third complete shutout of the season and her fourteenth in her career.

The women will be back in action at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Liston Stadium to take on the Bethany College Swedes.

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