Men’s soccer soars past Central Methodist

Story by Kyle Davis

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Baker seniors on the men’s soccer team stepped onto the field for the last regular season home game of their collegiate careers against Central Methodist University Saturday at Liston Stadium.

The Wildcats did not disappoint on Senior Night, defeating Central Methodist 5-0.

Baker took a 2-0 lead into halftime on two goals scored by freshman Steven Stewart.Stewart has scored three goals in the last two games for the Wildcats. It was three seniors who scored the final three goals of the game in the second half. Gerard Grehan, Micah Nelson and Jon Baldwin each scored for the Wildcats.

“It was an important night for us to get a big win,” senior Kyle Kelley said. “We took our opportunity to put the team away.”

Every Baker senior saw the field and got at least 17 minutes of playing time during the game.

"We have a lot of seniors who contribute to this team," senior Owen Barnhart said.<br/>Baker's defense recorded its eighth shutout of the season, six coming in wins and two in scoreless ties, against Central Methodist.Baker's defense recorded its eighth shutout of the season, six coming in wins and two in scoreless ties, against Central Methodist.
Baker’s defense recorded its eighth shutout of the season, six coming in wins and two in scoreless ties, against Central Methodist.

Kelley said the defense gave up very few chances against Central Methodist. He added the team has figured out how to balance defense and turn it into offense.

The Wildcats are a game back from the Heart of America Athletic Conference leader MidAmerica Nazarene University and are in a tie with Lindenwood and Graceland universities and Benedictine College, who are all one game back. Baker’s conference record is 5-2 and overall the team is 9-4-2 on the season.

Baker has two conference games left in the regular season, which are on the road against Avila University and Graceland.

MidAmerica Nazarene’s two remaining conference games are against William Jewell College and Avila.

Baker’s offense has scored 11 goals in the last three games and eight in the last two games, both resulting in wins.

“We came a long way from the beginning of the season but still have work to do,” sophomore Andrew Harrington said.

Barnhart said one of the team’s goals was to either win the conference or get in the top two spots of the HAAC conference tournament.

The top two seeds in the tournament will receive a first-round bye and also will have home-field advantage during the tournament. The top six teams will make it into the tournament.

Baker played its final non-conference opponent Columbia College Wednesday in Columbia, Mo., but results were not available at presstime.

The Wildcats will play the remaining games on their schedule on the road.<br/>The team will take on Avila University, 4-11-1 overall and 1-6 in the conference, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.The team will take on Avila University, 4-11-1 overall and 1-6 in the conference, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
The team will take on Avila University, 4-11-1 overall and 1-6 in the conference, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.