Baker girls soccer

Baker freshman Jillian Poe, No. 3, in action against Mac-Hi on Monday, Oct. 25 at the Baker Sports Complex. Poe scored Baker's lone goal in a 1-1 tie with the Pioneers.

After honoring the four seniors prior to their final match, the Baker girls soccer team played to a 1-1 tie with Mac-Hi on Monday, Oct. 25 at the Baker Sports Complex.

It was a freshman, though, who scored the goal that gave the Bulldogs their second tie this season against the Pioneers (6-5-2). Baker also tied Mac-Hi, 2-2, on Oct. 5 at Milton-Freewater.

Jillian Poe broke away from a group of Mac-Hi defenders early in the second half to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead Monday evening.

“It took a bit because I knew I had the four defenders coming right on my back, so it was definitely a big sprint to get there,” Poe said. “I think I may have taken one too many touches but I am glad I did, because I got it to the right side of the goalie.”

Baker (2-9-2) nearly held on for its third win, but Mac-Hi sophomore Caitlin Barnhart scored with just nine minutes left to tie it at 1.

Before the match started, Baker recognized seniors Maya Smith, Emrie Osborne, Phoebe Wise and Novalee Shoemaker.

Baker, with multiple players returning from injury, had numerous shots on goal in the first half.

Although none of the shots found the net, assistant coach Christine Teegarden said she was pleased with Baker’s aggressiveness on offense.

“We were giving their goalie a lot of exercise, I was very happy about it,” Teegarden said. “I was happy that we were controlling it because of the things we were working on — the passes, the decision making, there were a lot of connecting passes. No matter how many attempts we had, which were many, the fact that we were controlling it that we were thoughtfully making those decisions and I am proud of that.”

On the other side of the ball, the defensive line, including Osborne, Maya Smith, Shoemaker, Wise, Poe and Anna Belding, was able to limit the Pioneers’ shots.

“Emrie, a senior, is a big part of that starting group right there,” Baker head coach Eric Layton said. “We haven’t had them together for the last few games because of illness or injury, I thought it was so nice to lean on (them).”

After the scoreless first half, Layton said he tried to ensure the Bulldogs didn’t become complacent during the intermission on a chilly evening.

“They get cold, they get tired and they get quiet,” Layton said. “They needed to talk more. I thought they felt good about what was happening, so we wanted them to communicate more and wanted them to continue to do what they were doing.”

Although the Bulldogs lose their four seniors, Layton is excited to see the returning players continue to grow as a team in 2022 and beyond.

“The last two years have been wonky because of COVID and what not, so I think it will be really nice to have some normalcy next year, a normal restart,” Layton said. “Build on this year, technically this year the girls are now understanding the strategy of it, now we just have to work on our technical skills. I think they are now seeing the field better. There’s only so much you can do in ten weeks.”

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