Wildcats to host national playoff game Saturday
Baker University qualified for the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship with a 4-2 victory over Graceland in the Heart of America Athletic Conference championship on Saturday in Indianola, Iowa.
The No. 5 seed entering the HAAC tournament, the Wildcats upended No. 1 MidAmerica Nazarene 3-2 in overtime on Thursday in Olathe to advance to the title game. Graceland was the tourney’s No. 2 seed .
The Wildcats, 13-6-2, take a No. 21 national ranking into the first-round game against No. 10 Park (11-3-3) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Liston Stadium. The Baker-Park winner will play the Asuza Pacific -Holy Names winner at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 in Fresno, Calif. It is Baker’s fourth national appearance and first since 2004.
The game against Graceland was moved from Lamoni to Simpson College in Indianola because of wet field conditions. Matt Germain scored in the 16th minute to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Baker trailed 2-1 at halftime before scoring three unanswered goals in the second half with Owen Barnhart, Germain and Gerard Grehan providinig the scoring.
Against MidAmerica Nazarene, Grehan and Kome Okiomah scored in the second half after a scoreless first half. Matt Hodges scored the decisive goal in overtime after a Grehan assist.