Women’s soccer edges nationally ranked Park

Story by Kyle Davis

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Posted Sept. 7A 2-1 win for the Baker University women’s soccer team over Park University Wednesday put the ‘Cats at a 2-1 record for the season. Park University was the 18th ranked team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics top 25 coaches poll.

“We kept our heads in the game, kept our cool and were able to hold on for the win,” freshman Christine Janssens said. “I think we have really matured as a team.”

Baker played nearly 50 minutes without their goalie, Pam Brummit, after she was kicked in the face and required stitches. Freshman Haley Oborny replaced Brummit and only allowed one goal.

The ‘Cats scored both goals in the first half and were up 2-0 at halftime. Sophomore Mikayla Medlock scored a goal seven minutes into the game off a cross from freshman Jennifer Sampson. Freshman Chelsea Dunn scored the other goal, 15 minutes later, off a corner kick.

Park scored its only goal six or seven minutes into the second half, but was then shut down by Baker’s defense. Maria Ruiz, a second team All-American for Park University from Madrid, Spain, was silenced along with the three other talented international players.

A penalty kick in the first half was the difference in a 1-0 loss Aug. 30 when the ‘Cats faced Kansas Wesleyan University.

View a Slideshow from the KWU game.<a href="http://www.bakeru.edu/orangeline/0708slideshows/womensoccerpark" target="_blank">View a Slideshow from the KWU game.</a> View a Slideshow from the KWU game.

“We realized every game won’t be like the 5-0 win,” Janssens said.

The first half saw KWU controlling the tempo and going hard into tackles while Baker did not come out with the same intensity until the second half.

“They were what we were expecting,” coach Nate Houser said. “They were strong, technical and capitalized on our mistakes.”

The ‘Cats came back in the second half to match KWU’s aggressiveness. Baker had six scoring opportunities compared to only two shots on goal that they allowed in the second half. However, they were not able to capitalize.

“It showed us you can’t take anything for granted,” Houser said. “Every opportunity counts.”

A key part of a successful season will be the young Wildcats’ defense, which has five freshmen starters.

Dunn said although it has been difficult learning new assignments, the defense has been playing well, allowing only one goal in two games.

“The defense will keep getting better as the season goes on,” she said. “It will be a strong point throughout the season.”