Eagles swoop in to upset the women’s soccer team 2-1

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Eagles swoop in to upset the women’s soccer team 2-1

Story by Sara

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Riding high on a six-game winning streak, the Baker University women’s soccer team headed into its first conference game of the season with momentum and confidence.

However, the Wildcats never recovered from a slow start and fell to Central Methodist University 2-1 Sunday in Fayette, Mo.

Central Methodist handed Baker its first loss since the team’s season opener against Westminster University and now the Wildcats are 6-2 on the season.

“We played a team that was undefeated and felt good about themselves,” head coach Nate Houser said. “They came out with everything to prove, and we didn’t match their intensity for the game.”

The Eagles struck first with a goal near the 8:30 mark, and scored again in the 47th minute.

The Wildcats did not respond until the 63rd minute, despite taking 20 shots on the goal.

Freshman Ashley Mauck scored Baker’s lone goal from an assist by senior Alix Schiraldi.

“(The game) started out really slow, and we kind of underestimated the team that we were playing against,” Schiraldi said. “We didn’t come out with a lot of intensity, and we kind of let them walk around us a little bit.”

Senior goalkeeper Maggie Dupes recorded five saves, but Baker could not overcome the one goal deficit despite a surge late in the game.

“At the end of the second half we kind of got a rally going,” Schiraldi said. “We had a few unfortunate misses, the goalie made a great save and we hit the post with five minutes left. We kind of swayed the game at the end but it was too little too late.”

The ‘Cats controlled the ball in the second half, outshooting the Eagles 12-5.

“We dominated the second half,” senior Ashley Ukena said. “We outshot them, we just couldn’t get our shots to fall. I think the first half was a little more back and forth, but overall I’d say we probably held play a lot more, we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”

Schiraldi suffered from a bruised retina during the game after taking a kick to the eye, but will resume play with her team against Graceland University 5 p.m. Saturday at Liston Stadium.

Ukena said the Wildcats will use the loss as a learning experience and work harder to improve every game and move forward.

“We’re really excited to play Graceland on Saturday,” Schiraldi said. “And I think maybe that loss is what we needed to be like, ‘okay we need to come together and really give it all we can every game, no matter who we play.’ It kind of lighted a fire for us I think for Saturday’s game.”

The team will also play conference rival MidAmerica Nazarene University at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Olathe.