Ravens grab win, BU men’s soccer season ends

Story by Matt Kliewer

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It wasn’t a storybook ending, and it wasn’t the outcome the Baker University men’s soccer team hoped to accomplish in its first-round playoff game against Benedictine College Tuesday at Liston Stadium.

Instead, the Wildcat’s fell to Benedictine 2-1, capping off a successful season with a disappointing ending. 

In the first half, the Ravens controlled possession and scored an early goal on a corner kick in the 13th minute of play.

Then, after 39 seconds of second-half play, Steven Stewart tossed a massive throw in to Odaine Sinclair in the Benedictine box, and Sinclair put it in the net to even the score.

The match would remain a stalemate for most of the second half, but eventually, after a breakaway goal by a Benedictine midfielder in the 82nd minute, the score was sealed and the Wildcats’ season would come to an end.

“I thought the last twenty minutes, we were pressing and we just got unlucky,” sophomore Nick Aguilar said. “We just switched off, maybe for a second,and they punished us.”

The loss would leave the Wildcats’ record at 10-6-2 on the season, but to seven seniors, it would signify the end of a chapter in their lives, filled with ups, downs, wins, losses and a sense of family found within the confines of the team.

“(Baker soccer) gave me a sense of enjoyment, happiness, pride,” senior Matt Griffin said. “I’ll look back on this with no regrets, 20, 30, 40 years from now, and still remember these moments on the pitch.”

The seniors who played their final soccer match as a Wildcat are Carlos Miranda, Clay Stanger, Andrew Harrington, Alex Burton, Jacob Chiarelli, Blain Snipstal and Griffin.

“It’s not about replacing (the seniors), it’s can we build kids up to create a new environment,” head coach Nate Houser said.

The Wildcats, coming into the HAAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed, were looking to get revenge against Benedictine, the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament, after having to forfeit their regular season win over the Ravens.

With the victory, the Ravens faced Missouri Valley College Thursday for a chance to play in the HAAC Championship match.

For the Wildcats, the end of the season comes as a chance to look back at all of the moments which cleared seats in the student section at Liston Stadium and every pitch inhabited by the “Baker Boys.”