Lindenwood defeats Baker 1-0 in HAAC Tournament

Story by Kyle Davis

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The Baker men’s soccer team, the defending HAAC Champion, was knocked out of the conference tournament in the first round after a 1-0 loss to Lindenwood University Monday at Liston Stadium.

The teams made it through 31 minutes of play before the match was delayed for about two hours due to lightning, with the score tied 0-0.

“There was a bunch of adversity with the rain and everything, but the game plan was to hopefully play that day,” senior Kome Okiomah said. “You don’t want to go on and have it delayed until Tuesday, then play Tuesday and then play again, if we win, on Wednesday.”

The lone goal came in the 60th minute on a free kick by Lindenwood’s Robin Rundstorm.

The Wildcats had chances to equalize, including a few breakaways, but could not find the back of the net. Baker out-shot the Lions 13-6 in the match and 8-2 in the second half.

“We were definitely confident that we could easily come back from a 1-0 deficit,” Okiomah said. “We were knocking on their door and we had our chances, and we didn’t put them away. That’s what it came down to at the end of the game.”

The Wildcats are now waiting to see if they can receive an at-large bid into the NAIA national playoffs. This was only the Wildcats’ third loss of the season, as they sit at 11-3-5 overall, and are No. 19 in the country in the final NAIA Top-25 poll of the season.

Six Wildcats were honored by the HAAC Wednesday as members of the all-conference teams. Junior Matt Griffin not only was a First Team All-Conference selection, but was named the HAAC Defensive Player of the Year. Seniors Matt Germain and Luke Haidarovic were also first team all-league. Okiomah was named to the Second Team All-Conference, while goalkeeper Alex Burton, a junior, and freshman Laeth Hamil are third-team selections.<br/>