Baker makes history, wins first national championship game

Story by Kyle Davis

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This article was originally published prior to June 2, 2013. Due to a change in the content management systems, the initial publication date in not available. 

No other Baker soccer team has done it. This year’s team went from being in an exclusive group of teams to make it to the national championship tournament to standing alone in the record books.

With a 1-0 overtime win over Park University Saturday in the opening round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s Soccer National Championship, this team became the first Baker team to win a national tournament game in school history.

“It was definitely a very exciting and emotional time,” junior Kome Okiomah said.

This is Baker’s fourth national championship appearance and the first since 2004. Before Saturday’s win, the Wildcats were 0-2-1 in the national championship.

“To be with the rest of the teams in Baker history, it’s a great honor for everybody on our team,” senior Gerard Grehan said.

Baker could improve on its legacy in the upcoming weeks but has already made history with the win over Park.

"I hope our legacy's a great one, and I hope we can improve on it," Okiomah said.<br/>The Baker coaching staff is also a big part of this national championship win.The Baker coaching staff is also a big part of this national championship win.
The Baker coaching staff is also a big part of this national championship win.

“These guys have a lot of Baker pride, and getting this win and being involved in it means a lot to them,” junior Matt Germain said.

Grehan said the goal at the start of the year was to make the national tournament.<br/>"We've reached the goal we wanted to be at," Grehan said. "Every step now is a bonus for us.""We've reached the goal we wanted to be at," Grehan said. "Every step now is a bonus for us."
“We’ve reached the goal we wanted to be at,” Grehan said. “Every step now is a bonus for us.”

The Wildcats have played a difficult schedule this year including traveling to California to face the defending national champion Azusa Pacific University Sept. 19. Baker started the season with a 1-0 win over Southern Nazarene University, who was ranked No. 7 in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll at the time. The team also faced Oklahoma City University, then No. 14, and Olivet Nazarene University, then No. 25.

Baker will now set its sights on Westmont College in the next game of the NAIA Soccer National Championship when the team plays at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Fresno, Calif., to see ifit can add another national championship win to its résumé.

Germain said the team’s confidence is really high after beating the teams in the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament as well as Park. He also said the team is peaking at the right time of the season.

“We want to be known as the best team in Baker history since no other team has done what we’ve now done,” Germain said. “We want to make history.”