Women’s soccer shuts out Ottawa

Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

The Baker University women’s soccer team is now 2-2-0 on the season after a 3-0 shutout win against the Ottawa Braves on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats stayed aggressive despite a continuously physical game. Baker had six shots on goal compared to Ottawa’s three in the first half and continued to outshoot the Braves in the second with eight shots, compared to the Braves’ two.

Junior Megan Johnson and senior Krista Hooper led the Wildcats with four shots each, three of them for each player being shots on goal.

“I think we’re a pretty feisty little team,” Hooper said. “I think it kind of depends on how physical the team is with us and we’ll usually match it.”

Constant attacking from the Wildcats led to a goal in the 29th minute by Hooper, the only goal scored in the first half.

The second half was dominated by Baker, but Ottawa’s defense put up a valiant effort, with five saves in the second half. The goalkeeper for Ottawa, Paige Lindbloom, recorded seven saves.

The Wildcats continued to fire shots at Ottawa’s goal. In the 77th minute Megan Johnson found the back of the net off an assist from senior Katie Hibbeler, making the score 2-0.

Hibbeler played matchmaker again, connecting a ball to Hooper in the 81st minute that ended Baker’s scoring run at 3-0 for the night. Hibbeler also had two shots on goal.

Junior goalkeeper Rachel Hunt recorded two saves for Baker. Seniors Jessica Hillebert and Keeley Atkin had one shot each.

Both the offense and the defense played equal parts in propelling the Wildcats to their victory Wednesday night.

“I think our backline was super, super strong yesterday, that’s definitely the best game they’ve had this season,” Hooper said. “And we had the ball a lot more than we have in previous games. We had possession of it, so they didn’t have as many chances.”

Hooper believes the team is starting to find a better rhythm after a rocky start to the season.

“I think we came in kind of expecting that we would start off really strong and expecting that teams wouldn’t come out as strong against us, and I think we needed those two game to get our heads back in the right place,” Hooper said.

A quick turnaround is in order as the 2-2-0 Wildcats will take on Park University at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Liston Stadium.

“We’ll be ready,” Hooper said. “Our first two games were like back-to-back, so compared to that this is a nice little break, so hopefully we’ll have our legs back.”