Story by Charlie Balcom, Lindsey Wilson Sports Information
COLUMBIA, Ky. – The third-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) men’s soccer team used a pair of second-half goals to take down eighth-ranked Baker (Kan.) Saturday night in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Game of the Week at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
The Blue Raiders (1-0-0) were able to shut out the Wildcats (0-2-1) on a night of light, yet continuous rain.
The first half went by scoreless with both teams making strong defensive stands. Baker recorded four shot attempts while Lindsey Wilson managed just two.
Both goals came in the second half off of Blue Raider set pieces.
The first came on a Lindsey Wilson corner kick in the 48th minute. Aleksi Pahkasalo delivered a ball into a crowded box and found Billal Qsiyer sliding on his knees to the near post. Qsiyer headed the ball into the bottom left corner past a diving Ryan Emme into the goal for the 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Pahkasalo was at it again, this time on a free kick from outside the 18-yard box. The sophomore from Vantaa, Finland, delivered a high-arching ball into a crowded box toward the far post. Adis Islamovic found himself free and met the ball with a header which went over the hands of a charging Emme into the back of the net to double the Blue Raider lead at 2-0.
With the momentum in Lindsey Wilson’s favor, Mother Nature intervened in the 57th minute causing the game to go into a delay due to lightning which lasted just under an hour.
After resuming, the Blue Raiders were able to keep the momentum and continue to apply offensive pressure. Islamovic found himself running in a one-on-one battle with a defender before chipping the ball over the Baker goalkeeper which missed just inches over the crossbar.
A final Lindsey Wilson chance came in the 83rd minute when Leander Zapheriou found a loose ball bounce his way after a corner-kick clearance. Zapheriou lifted a high ball towards the goal which forced Emme to make a last-second save and push the ball over the crossbar.
The Blue Raiders finished with eight second-half shots compared to just two by the Wildcats.
The physical game saw five yellow cards and both teams hit double-digit fouls, Baker with 14 and Lindsey Wilson with 11.
Dalyan Hawes recorded his first shutout as a Blue Raider with the win making two saves while Emme took the loss in goal for the Wildcats, making four saves but allowing both goals.
Lindsey Wilson returns to the pitch on Monday, Sept. 1 when No. 22 Bethel (Tenn.) comes to Walter S. Reuling Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT.