Early lead dwindles; Baker loses 3-1

After a two-week break, the Baker University women’s soccer team jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage but couldn’t hold off the second-half attack of Lindenwood University, losing 3-1 Wednesday.

Head coach Nate Houser said he was pleased with the first-half play of his team after the long layoff.

“Overall, we played very well,” Houser said. “I felt like we dominated the first half. We came out and did what we needed to do.”

The Wildcats took the early lead on a set piece from midfield following a Lindenwood foul. Senior Parissa Daneshmand took the free kick for the ‘Cats and found the net in the 23rd minute of the match. It was the first goal of the year for the defender from Harrisonville, Mo.

“It was nice to help my team out on offense, but it just wasn’t enough in this game,” Daneshmand said.

In the second half, Lindenwood decided to start playing, and the game changed, Houser said.

“They were a different team in the second half,” Houser said. “They came out and started playing better and the game evened up.”

The Lions scored twice in the 61st minute to take the lead from Baker. The first two Lindenwood goals came 43 seconds apart.

“They punished our mistakes,” Houser said. “We had two domino effect breakdowns, and they scored quickly.”

The game’s final goal came in the 77th minute of the match as Lindenwood scored its third goal.

Freshman midfielder Mikayla Medlock said she was disappointed with the final score but felt like her team played reasonably well after a two-week hiatus from play.

“Small little breakdowns hurt us,” Medlock said. “But besides that, we played pretty well.”

Houser said he felt like the final score wasn’t indicative of the Wildcats’ overall team play.

“Everybody played well – it wasn’t one individual player’s day to shine,” Houser said. “Everyone worked very hard for the team.”

Houser said his team continued to improve for conference play.

“While we didn’t score the most goals in this game, we took a big step forward in our understanding of our play,” Houser said. “Hopefully, this team now realizes it can play with the big teams in our conference. We just have to play a full 90 minutes, and we can beat them.”

Baker plays at 1 p.m. Sunday at Culver-Stockton College.