Women’s soccer starts conference tourney with win

Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

The No. 12 ranked women’s soccer team started the Heart of America Athletics Conference tournament with a 5-0 victory over Graceland on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats had four goals in the first half.

“I think it’s huge that we put five goals in on Graceland, especially since we put four in in the first 12 minutes,” junior Jessica Hillebert said. “It really made us realize how good we can play.”

Hillebert opened things up early with a goal in the ninth minute then junior Katie Hibbeler, sophomore Kady Dieringer and junior Heart Defensive Player of the Year Krista Hooper all added goals back to back to back.

“I personally think everyone on the team has stepped up in their roles, which has made a huge difference,” junior Keeley Atkin said. “Jessica Hillebert has secured our back line pretty well, and Katie Hibbeler has helped tremendously out wide helping our attack.

Baker finished the game with a goal in the 84th minute from junior Kara Doctor. The Wildcats outshot Graceland 20-3, and goalkeeper Rachel Hunt only had to make one save in the game.

Looking forward, Baker is on pace to do something special this season.

“The key to taking this momentum forward is confidence and the desire to win knowing that we have to give it our all here on out since you have to win to keep going,” Atkin said.

The Wildcats will take on a tough MNU team next at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at Liston Stadium.

”Beating MNU during the season was an amazing feeling, but that doesn’t mean anything to us now,” Atkin said. “This will be a huge game for us.”

Baker is two games away from a conference championship.

“If we continue to play how we’ve been playing a conference championship is just the first step to an even bigger goal,” Hillebert said.