Undefeated men’s soccer team jumps to No. 6

Story by Kyle Davis

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The 90 minutes of regulation was not enough time to declare a winner in the Baker men’s soccer game against the Bethel Threshers, but four extra minutes of overtime was all that was needed.

The Wildcats defeated Bethel College 2-1 in overtime on a rainy Saturday at North Park and improved to 3-0 on the season. The Threshers only had one substitute as the team only traveled with 12 players.

“It’s always good to win,” head coach Nate Houser said. “Being able to play under pressure is an important thing.”

Bethel struck first, scoring in the 28th minute of the game and keeping that lead into halftime. Baker answered quickly in the second half with a game-tying goal by senior Gerard Grehan four minutes into the second half.

Senior Matt Hodges said the team didn’t come out as sharp as it has been and learned from it. He added in the second half the team had to put more pressure on Bethel and create mistakes.

The potential game-winning goal for Baker was erased in the 23rd minute of the second half after Grehan was called offside on the goal by freshman Steven Stewart. Grehan had a chance to score his second goal of the game on a penalty kick that was saved by the Bethel goalkeeper with 15 minutes remaining.

Victory finally came for the Wildcats in the fourth minute of overtime off the head of sophomore Matt Griffin, whose diving header for a goal ended the game.

Baker had plenty of opportunities, out-shooting Bethel 28-3. Two Wildcats had more shots, junior Matt Abbott, four, and Grehan, six, than the entire Bethel team, but only had one goal between them.

The Wildcats have struggled to score goals despite having a large number of opportunities, Houser said.

“It’s concentration,” Houser said. He added if they weren’t creating chances, then there would be a problem, but they are, so that problem can be solved.

Bethel had trouble getting opportunities offensively against Baker’s defense. The Bethel goal in the first half was the first goal given up by the Wildcats this season. This was also the first time Baker was behind in a game and had to come back to win.

“Our defense is headstrong,” junior Kome Okiomah said. “They worked very hard together and proved it in the second half.”

Next up for the Wildcats is the MidAmerica Nazarene University tournament, facing No. 15 ranked Oklahoma City University at 12:45 p.m. Friday and Olivet Nazarene University at 12:15 p.m. Saturday in Olathe.