Soccer: Germain propels ‘Cats past Park

Story by Kyle Davis

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

The men’s soccer team rushed the field, followed closely by fans, and junior Matt Germain was picked up in celebration after scoring the winning goal in overtime to beat No. 6 Park University 1-0 Saturday at Liston Stadium.

Baker improved to 14-6-2 on the season after the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship opening round win and is on a four-game winning streak.

Baker had an opportunity to score in the 28th minute when Kiefer Mergen of Park received a yellow card for a foul inside the box, which led to a Baker penalty kick. Germain took the penalty kick, but the shot was saved by Park goalie Michael Eade.

After a scoreless game in the first 90 minutes, it took just 34 seconds for Baker to win in overtime. Germain got a chance and put the ball into the back of the net to get the win.

“It was so relieving,” Germain said. “Sprinting away from the goal with everyone chasing me was a great feeling.”

Senior Gerard Grehan was one of the people chasing after him.

“It’s fitting for him to get the chance because he really deserves it,” Grehan said. “He definitely deserves to score that winning goal.”

Baker and Park both had four shots at halftime, but Baker was the only team with shots on goal with two. In the end, Baker outshot Park 7-6 with three shots on goal. Baker also led in corner kicks with seven compared to Park’s three.

Senior Matt Hodges was given a yellow card in the 11th minute and Park’s Robert Palmer received a yellow card in the 45th minute.

Sophomore Alex Burton recorded one save in the shutout victory. This was the ninth shutout win for the Wildcats this season.

“We’re playing as good as we could possibly play,” Grehan said.

This win was the first by any Baker team in the NAIA Soccer National Championship.

"It was tremendous," junior Kome Okiomah said. "Our hard work just paid off (Saturday)."<br/>Baker played Park earlier in the season, Oct. 7, and tied the Pirates 0-0.Baker played Park earlier in the season, Oct. 7, and tied the Pirates 0-0.
Baker played Park earlier in the season, Oct. 7, and tied the Pirates 0-0.

“We said after the first Park game that we’d love to get another shot at them,” Grehan said.”We knew we could beat them.”

Baker will now travel to Fresno, Calif., for the rest of the NAIA Soccer National Championship. The Wildcats will face Westmont College, which beat Holy Names University 3-2 in double overtime, at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 2.

“Now we know we can compete with anybody,” Germain said. “We’ve got a good thing going right now.”