Offense overpowers conference rival

Offense overpowers conference rival

Riding a three-game winning streak, the Baker University men’s soccer team didn’t need any extra motivation for a game, but got plenty added incentive Tuesday when preseason No. 1 and conference rival William Jewell College came to Baldwin City.

The Wildcats wanted to make a statement that they belong with the best teams in the country, junior Jon Baldwin said.

“When we play Baker soccer we can play with anyone in the nation,” he said. (Story continued below.)

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Despite going down a goal early, the ‘Cats were able to prove Baldwin’s statement. The Cardinals got on the board in the first 15 minutes of the match when a corner kick was headed past goalkeeper Alex Burton to give William Jewell the early lead.

However, sophomore Sebastian Koepf evened the match when he did what he does best – score goals. Koepf netted his team-leading sixth goal of the season tying the game midway through the first half.

In the second half, the ‘Cats continued to create opportunities and scoring chances for themselves. The Wildcats pressured the Cardinals defense with continuous attacks and shots on goal until finally they broke through.

Sophomore Elliott Harvey was given a chance to win the match for his team and seized the opportunity when he buried a shot into the back of the net, giving the 2-1 advantage.

Harvey’s goal proved to be the game-winner and the first goal of his Wildcat career.

Head coach Alan Koch said his team has continued to gain confidence.

“I think the guys believe they can win every game,” Koch said. “They believe in themselves and have proven they can claw back into games.”

Koch also said beating the Cardinals is extra special.

“It’s always nice to beat Jewell,” he said.

Just two games after scoring his first collegiate goal, freshman Tom Lowndes added another first to his résumé when he completed the first hat trick of his career against Culver-Stockton College.

In a battle of the Wildcats, Lowndes and Koepf each scored a goal in the first half, giving the orange-clad ‘Cats a 2-0 lead going into the half.

Lowndes added another goal in the second half, then sophomore Matt Germain scored a goal of his own before Lowndes completed the scoring with his third goal in the last minutes of the match.

Baker won the match 5-0 as Burton and junior Aaron Williams combined to record a shutout.

The team will take the pitch again at 3 p.m. Saturday at Missouri Baptist University.