Men’s soccer squad strolls by Lions

Story by Kyle Davis

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After a loss to Lindenwood University at home one month ago, Baker got its revenge in the first round of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament to end Lindenwood’s chances of winning the HAAC.

The Wildcats defeated the Lions 2-0 Tuesday in St. Charles, Mo., to advance to the tournament semifinals. Lindenwood is the No. 4 seed in the tournament and Baker is the No. 5 seed.

Freshman Steven Stewart said as a team the men are playing really well right now, they just need to keep finishing goals.

Lindenwood is receiving votes for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

Baker took the lead midway through the first half with a goal by junior Matt Germain in the 21st minute to put the Wildcats up 1-0.

Senior Gerard Grehan gave Baker a more comfortable two-goal lead when he scored the second goal of the game in the 83rd minute. Germain and Grehan both had an assist in the match.

Senior Kyle Kelley said the team definitely wanted to score first playing away against a team like Lindenwood.

The Wildcats won even though Lindenwood outshot Baker 20-6. Goalie Alex Burton recorded seven saves in the shutout victory.

“Our defense has been solid the whole season,” Kelley said.

Juniors Matt Abbott and Luke Haidarovic both received yellow cards during the match, Abbott’s coming in the 31st minute and Haidarovic’s in the 60th minute. Igor Inic was given a yellow card for Lindenwood in the 82nd minute.

“When we’re playing good, our game is flawless,” junior Elliott Harvey said.

Harvey was unable to play after suffering from a hyper-extended knee in the game against Columbia College.

Baker improved its record to 11-6-2 while Lindenwood has a record of 12-6-1.

“I think if we keep playing like we did (Tuesday), we’ll be fine,” Stewart said.

Baker faced MidAmerica Nazarene University in one of the semifinal games Thursday but results were unavailable at presstime.

Harvey said the team is not even close to being ready for its season to be over.

Baker is the only HAAC team to beat MidAmerica during the regular season, winning 3-1 Sept. 30 at Liston Stadium.

Kelley said the team matches up really well against MidAmerica.

MidAmerica is ranked No. 12 in the NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll and is the top seed in the HAAC tournament. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

If the Wildcats win Thursday, they will advance to the conference championship against the winner of the Graceland University-Benedictine College matchup.

Baker will have to travel to either Lamoni, Iowa, or Atchison for the conference championship game should it prevail against the Pioneers.