FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2017
Contact: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications
No. 5 Baker Advances to NAIA Final Site with 2-1 Win over Grace (Ind.)
BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The No. 5 ranked Baker University men’s soccer team competed in its fifth-straight NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round match and defeated Grace (Ind.) 2-1 to advance to the final site of the National Championship.
The Wildcats improve to 16-4-2 on the year, while the Lancers end its season at 12-5-4.
The Wildcats will now face No. 12 ranked Columbia College on Monday, Nov. 27 at 12:30 p.m. CST/1:30 p.m. EST in Delray Beach, Florida. The Cougars are 18-2-2 on the year.
These two squads last met in this round in 2015 in Delray Beach, Florida with the Cougars winning, 2-0, on November 30, 2015.
This marks the third time in the last five years Baker has advanced to the NAIA Final Site, the others came in 2013 and 2015 in that span.
Joseph Houlihan scored first for Baker in the 27th minute, as Joah Hickel placed a perfect ball in front of the box and Houlihan popped it up past keeper Kurt Hamlin.
Then Steeve Pouna was tackled inside the box and the Lancers were called for the foul, sending Blake Levine in for a penalty kick.
Levine delivered and gave Baker the 2-0 lead. Levine and Houlihan are now tied for the team lead in goals scored with 10.
Grace cut into the Baker lead in the 74th minute, as Breno Oliveira was true on his penalty kick past keeper Nick Riggle for the goal.
Alberto Ciroi played the first 64 minutes in goal for the ‘Cats, then Riggle finished off the final 26 minutes.
BU outshot the Lancers, 14-11, and attempted six shots on goal, while Grace had four. Riggle finished with two saves, while Ciroi had one.
To view the entire 2017 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship bracket, please click here.