Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Baker exploded from the gate against Payette Thursday, rolling to a 9-4 non-league boys soccer victory at the Baker Sports Complex.

Isaac Mansuetti led the Bulldogs with a three-goal hat trick.

Jordan Flanagan added a pair of goals. He also would have had a hat trick except a teammate was called for being offside on his third goal which was disallowed.

Matt Barnes, Jason Benites, Fernando Jimenez ad Noe Benites each added single goals for the Bulldogs.

"It was a beautiful game for us. We were going aggressively to the goal," said Baker coach Victor Benites.

"It was especially good since we were playing a team that has been to the state playoffs in Idaho the last five years."

Baker jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Noe Benites and Jimenez from in front of the goal.

Barnes then increased the lead to 3-0 with a header from in front of the goal.

Then, after Payette cut the deficit to 3-1, Mansuetti scored his first goal. On the play Mansuetti took a long crossing pass, let the keeper rush by him, then tapped the ball in the net.

Flanagan's first goal, sandwiched between two more Payette scores left Baker on top 5-3 at halftime.

The Bulldogs then erased any doubt by scoring the first three goals of the second half.

Jason Benites got the first score with a sharp ball from the top of the penalty box.

Mansuetti scored his second goal with a long arching shot from the left of the goal.

Flanagan got his second goal on one of the easiest plays of the day.

On the play a Baker teammate and the Payette keeper battled for th eball just to the right of the goal. Both players stumbled out of bounds but the ball remained just inside the baseline. All Flanagan had to do was tap it into the open net.

Mansuetti then completed Baker's scoring with his third goal.

Evan Simonski-Davis played his first varsity game in goal for the Bulldogs.

"Evan did a really good job for his first varsity game," Coach Benites said.

Baker lost the junior varsity match 3-2. Aiden Coomer scored both goals for the Bulldogs, including one on a penalty kick.