When she is not hitting the books or working on campus, Linfield College junior Lindzee Baker is crushing opponent's hopes on the soccer field by dominating the middle of the pitch and leading her team to success.
Since joining the program as a freshman, Baker has been a consistent piece for the Linfield women's soccer team, starting every match. As the center defensive midfielder, Baker has the responsibility to halt opponents' penetrating runs toward the goal and spread the ball around so all her teammates get involved. Off the field, the Spokane, Wash., native is as hardworking as they come, maintaining a 3.8 cumulative grade point average.
Baker, a biology major with aspirations toward become a physician's assistant, has a lot on her plate for the remainder of her college life.
“The hardest thing about the major is the fact that biology is all science classes so it is all labs. It's hard to balance my time especially because the labs conflict with soccer,” says Baker. Within the next two years, she is expected to enroll in three labs simultaneously during one semester.
With the influx of labs and science courses such as Evolution, Molecular Cell Biology, Microbiology and Physiology, managing her time between schoolwork, soccer and working in the school snack bar nine hours a week poses a challenge, but is certainly doable.
“I pretty much don't have any free time. Whenever I'm not at soccer, I'm in class or doing homework. It's a huge struggle to balance, especially during these couple weeks with so many tests. I try to get everything done early and get things out of the way, which helps,” says Baker.
“Lindzee is a good, solid student,” says Linfield professor Thomas Reinert, who taught Baker in his General Chemistry course last year. “She showed up and worked hard. Her name was on the shortlist to be a teacher's assistant. You don't get there if you're not doing well.”
When Baker is not studying or seeing friends around campus, she is on the soccer field pursuing her passion. As a sophomore, she was selected as a first team Northwest Conference all-star and was a third team all-West Region pick. Since Baker joined the team, the Wildcats have been one of the NWC's top programs and are pushing toward the first league championship in school history. Her favorite part about soccer, however, is not winning awards, tackling, running or passing around opponents, it's the team camaraderie.
“I love the team aspect. It's hard in high school and in college though because people are always graduating and new people are coming in, but it's really fun to get to know different girls,” she says.
Wildcats' co-captain Lauren Pyrch has high praise for her teammate. “She brings something so different to our team that no one else can bring. Lindzee is in complete control of our midfield; she wins every ball in the air, slows down our speed of play, distributes the ball amazingly well and is a great defender. She is fearless. She will go for anything and go into tackles hard. Just her presence on the field brings confidence to our team.”
Baker's teammates and coaches not only help her on the field, but find time to assist her off the field as well.
“It is always nice to have people on your soccer team who are in your classes, too, because you can study together. Our coaches have us fill out a progress report every now and then to make sure that we're staying up on our grades,” says Baker.
When spare time does present itself, Baker enjoys reading, going to movies and hanging out with friends. “We like to go to the Saturday events that Linfield offers like the hypnotist and comedian shows. Sometimes they will have good movies playing and I feel like I utilized that a lot last year in the spring. It's something different to do,” she says.
During the summer, Baker loves spending time outdoors. “I play soccer and I'm a mentor coach for my old club team. I love going to the lake during the summer and camping, especially since the restaurant job that I had was indoors. Anything that I could do outdoors was a plus.”
In order to remain on course along her chosen career path, Baker plans on attending graduate school at Oregon Health & Science University. “It's a very prestigious grad school and it's really competitive, but it's obviously my top school,” says Baker.
With great ambitions in mind, Baker has a bright future. The teamwork, determination and fearless attitude that she possesses will definitely make her a great physician's assistant.
– Rhys Lendio '17