Men’s soccer wins on senior night

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The men’s soccer team defeated Central Methodist University, 4-1, Saturday night at home. Baker’s record improves to 6-8-3 overall and 2-3-2 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

It was senior night at Liston Stadium for the team’s lone senior and captain Preston Phillips.

Baker got things going quickly in the 10th minute when sophomore Jordan Thacker sent a corner kick into the front of the box. Junior Amer Didic jumped up and flicked the ball with the back half of his head to beat the Eagles’ senior goalkeeper Carlos Ribera. The Wildcats led 1-0.

Didic scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season. No Baker player has scored 10 or more goals in a season since Odaine Sinclair scored 11 in 22 games in 2011. Didic has scored 10 in just 17 games. This was Didic’s 17th goal of his career at Baker.

Central Methodist fought back to tie the game in the 35th minute. Daniel Arrazola took a deflected pass and hit it off the volley from 25 yards out. The shot made its way past freshman goalkeeper Patrick Rydberg.

The score remained tied at halftime. Baker took double the shots that Central Methodist fired off, 6-3, but Ribera saved the other two Baker shots on frame.

In the second half, it took Baker only eight minutes to connect. In the 53rd minute, Thacker whipped a cross into the box from the topside for freshman Blake Levine. Levine simply poked the shot past a diving Rivera and Baker took a 2-1 lead. Levine scored his fifth goal of the season, second best on the team behind Didic.

The scoring didn’t stop there as Baker scored two goals in a matter of one minute. The first goal came in the 68th minute from junior Austin Shiney off a cross from sophomore Spencer Atkin from near the back line. Shiney, like Levine, just poked it past Ribera easily to put Baker ahead by two goals and snag his second goal of the season.

In the 69th minute, sophomore Keaton Anchors subbed into the game and immediately made an impact. Anchors had the ball on the topside of the 18-yard box, made a couple of moves to get just enough space from his defender and took a rip with the outside of the foot. The ball bent into the side netting and Baker led 4-1 and would hold out from there for the win.

This game marked the second time this season that the men’s team scored four goals in a game. The first came in the final game of the non-conference schedule with a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Braves. Didic and Levine both scored in that game, with Levine scoring twice.

Baker finished the evening with 13 shots and six on target. The Baker backline allowed only five shots with two of them on frame. Didic and sophomore Kyle Young were nearly impassable on the evening in the middle.

Rydberg made one save on the evening as he picked up his second win as the starting goalkeeper for Baker.