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08.17.10 | M Soccer

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8.19.10 | Men's Soccer

Baker men ranked No. 24 in preseason NAIA Top 25 Coaches' Poll

Steven Stewart

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. - The expectations are where they thought they would be coming into the 2010-11 campaign.

A strong core of returners should have Baker University’s men’s soccer team ready to challenge for another conference crown.

The Heart of America Athletic Conference champions in 2008, the Wildcats’ record was spoiled by five ties during their 11-3-5 season in 2009, a year after reaching the NAIA Sweet 16.


“We need to learn the lessons from our numerous ties we had and have a little more of a killer instinct,” Wildcat coach Nate Houser said. “I think we can be just as dangerous as we were before. Last year we tried to attack everybody. This year we will be more disciplined and do what we did two years ago.”

The Wildcats’ top returner is first-team all-HAAC defender Matt Griffin, a senior from Olathe. Griffin (6-3, 190 pounds) was named the conference’s defensive player of the year in 2009 and a third-team NAIA All-American.

“He is disciplined and offers a physical presence that no other team in conference really brings,” Houser said.

Other key players on defense are senior goalkeeper Alex Burton and sophomore defender Laethe Hamil. Both were selected to the all-HAAC third team last fall.

Houser expects several other players to contribute, including sophomores Nick Aguilar, Ethan Bauer and Odaine Sinclair. Bauer, the top high school player in Kansas in 2008, has healed from a foot injury, Houser said. Burton, Griffin and fellow seniors Jacob Chiarelli, Blain Snipstal and Andrew Harrington should provide strong senior leadership.

Top freshmen are Andy Griffin, Ben Coyle, Conner Brehm and Cameron Zimmerman. Coyle was a standout with the Wizards Juniors program.
“He can do anything,” Houser said. “He could potentially start at any of three positions.”

Two players who transferred before the spring 2010 semester — freshman Yoshi Taka and sophomore Michael Sheridan — should have immediate impact, Houser said.

Houser believes in 2010 the Wildcat can convert ties into wins.

“We outplayed our opponents in four of the five ties,” Houser said. “I felt we gave some of those games away.”

View the full 2010 schedule here.

2010 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – (Aug. 17)

RANK

LAST WEEK^

SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

2009 RECORD*

TOTAL POINTS

1

2

Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) (19)

20-2-1

560

2

7

The Master's College (Calif.)

19-3-3

538

3

3

Simon Fraser University (B.C.)

19-4-0

518

4

6

University of Rio Grande (Ohio)

18-3-3

514

5

18

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.)

14-4-4

465

6

RV

Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) (1)

12-4-3

439

7

11

Notre Dame College (Ohio)

16-4-2

438

8

12

Biola University (Calif.)

13-5-4

436

9

4

Southern Polytechnic State University (Ga.)

14-2-1

416

10

10

Benedictine College (Kan.)

16-3-1

380

11

5

University of Maine at Fort Kent

17-1-1

349

12

1

Bethel University (Tenn.)

15-2-3

344

13

14

Azusa Pacific University (Calif.)

16-3-0

339

14

13

Columbia College (Mo.)

16-5-1

329

15

21

Hastings College (Neb.)

16-4-3

325

16

15

University of Texas at Brownsville

17-0-2

253

17

17

Auburn University Montgomery (Ala.)

13-4-2

234

18

8

Bethel College (Ind.)

18-1-1

231

19

9

William Carey University (Miss.)

13-3-3

208

20

20

Science and Arts of Oklahoma

17-2-1

189

T21

16

McKendree University (Ill.)

15-2-2

167

T21

RV

Bellevue University (Neb.)

14-4-1

167

23

RV

Indiana Institute of Technology

13-7-2

166

24

19

Baker University (Kan.)

11-3-5

162

25

22

Ashford University (Iowa)

19-1-2

158

Others receiving votes:

Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.) 157; Oklahoma City University 94; University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) 88; Kansas Wesleyan University 76; Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) 36; Vanguard University (Calif.) 35; Concordia University (Ore.) 27; Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio) 18; University of Mobile (Ala.) 14; Judson University (Ill.) 13; California State University-San Marcos 10 Park University (Mo.) 10 Westmont College (Calif.) 8; Bryan College (Tenn.) 7; McPherson College (Kan.) 5; Missouri Valley College 4; Holy Names University (Calif.) 3; Warner Pacific College (Ore.) 3 Concordia University (Calif.) 1; Asbury University (Ky.) 1; Aquinas College (Mich.) 1; Milligan College (Tenn.) 1; Saint Thomas University (Fla.) 1; Davenport University (Mich.) 1

 

^ Final rating from 2009 regular season Top 25 (Nov. 10, 2009)

* Submitted by the raters and reflecting the final 2009 record

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