Keane, Croke, score a pair and push King’s past Baptist Bible
It was a tale of two halves Wednesday afternoon at Betzler Field. The Monarchs came into this one as heavy favorites against the less talented Baptist Bible squad, but only held a 1-0 lead at the break, courtesy of an early header by senior Niall Croke. King’s stingy defense would hold firm and the stagnant offense would quickly erupt for five goals in the second half to give the Monarchs a 6-0 victory.
King’s forced the issue offensively in the second half, keeping the ball on Baptist Bible’s side of the field for the majority of the time. “That was definitely our goal coming into the game and we made a few changes to our system at halftime to accomplish that,” said King’s Head Coach Mark Basset on his team’s ability to keep the ball on the offensive end.
Although the Monarchs were able to keep possession of the ball for most of the second half, it took a while for them to capitalize on their opportunities and pad the lead with a few insurance goals. That insurance would come with just under 30 minutes left to play when Senior Korbin Keene delivered a strike from the left side of the box into the back right corner of the net for the unassisted goal.
A few minutes later Keene would send another one into the back of the net, which would essentially serve as a dagger in the heart and erase any hopes of a comeback for Baptist Bible.
“Korbin just joined us this year as a 5th year grad student,” said Coach Basset on Keene. “He’s been playing well for us. We’re happy to have him.”
Croke would score again on a penalty kick with 21:17 left to play followed by goals from Keegan Fees and Raul Cruz in the final 15 minutes of the game. In the end, King’s outshot Baptist Bible 25-2 with just one save by sophomore goalie Tyler Wilson.
King’s also turned in this dominating performance without one of their top defenders in Phillip Kistner, who is currently nursing an ankle injury. His timetable for return is questionable.
“We’re hoping for the weekend, but it’s doubtful,” Basset said.
With the win King’s improves to 6-3 on the season, while Baptist Bible falls to 3-6. King’s will travel to Frederick, Maryland on Saturday to take on Hood College before returning home to face Lycoming on Tuesday in their final game before conference play begins.