Penn freshman Stephen Baker, a member of the 2010 Menace, is among college soccer's top scorers. - Photo courtesy Penn Athletics
Stephen Baker has emerged onto the college-soccer scene, and Nicholas Murray puts the spotlight on Pen's freshman standout in this feature on the United Soccer Leagues' website.
In the story, Baker says his time this summer with the Des Moines Menace's Premier Development League helped him jump-start his college career. And it's been quite the start for Baker, who has scored seven goals in his first eight college matches -- just one goal off the lead for all of NCAA Division-I.
Baker and the Quakers have cracked the national Top-25 rankings, and they've already matched the team's win total from a year ago. After dropping five one-goal contests a year ago, Penn (6-2) has won three games by a goal in 2010; Baker has scored the game-winner in all three of these close victories.
A high-school all-America selection, Baker came to the Menace in late June, accepting the invitation from Laurie Calloway. The Menace head coach was part of the coaching staff for Baker's McQuaid Jesuit High School team in Rochester, N.Y.
Baker made his PDL debut in the Menace's 3-1 loss to eventual league finalist Thunder Bay on July 3. Two weeks later, he scored two goals in the Menace's 6-0 win over Kansas City.
The Fairport, N.Y. native has twice been named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week. He was named the league's Player of the Week after collecting seven points in his first two college contests, and TopDrawerSoccer.com last week ranked him as the 11th-best freshman in college soccer.
You can follow the success of Baker and other Menace alumni at www.Twitter.com/MenaceSoccer.