After 110 minutes of action, the semifinal contest was tied at 1-1, but the Vikings prevailed with a 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks.
Valley went ahead in the 15th minute on a goal by sophomore Thiago Ferreira, but the Wildcats evened the contest midway through the second half on junior Andy Griffin's conversion of a corner kick from senior Ethan Bauer.
Junior goalkeeper Josh Wells kept the Vikings alive with seven saves, the teams concluding 37 minutes of regulation and two overtime periods without breaking the stalemate.
Junior Nicholas Alexander, Ferreira and freshman Raul Beneit made their free shots to put Valley in front in the shoot-out, 3-2. However, freshman Carlos Berastain missed and Baker connected twice on attempts by Griffin and senior Nate Byarly for a 4-3 advantage.
Junior Alberto Linan Gomez tied it at 4-4 and the next three players missed. When junior Ben Coyle's attack sailed over the crossbar for the 'Cats (8-6-4), that gave Valley the opening it needed -- freshman Mark Taylor sticking the ball in the net past senior Brendan Allen for the victory.
The Vikings (13-5-1) are attempting to reach the NAIA playoffs for the third year in a row, and their No. 10 ranking in the Modified RPI puts them in prime position to make the 32-team field. However, they can clinch a spot, and likely a home match for the first round, with a win Saturday at No. 10 Benedictine -- which won the HAAC regular season title despite losing the regular season meeting at Gregg-Mitchell Field, 3-1.
FULTON -- The Missouri Valley College women's basketball team surrendered the final nine points of the first half and never caught up Wednesday during a 75-49 non-conference loss at William Woods.
The Lady Vikings found themselves in a 10-2 hole to start the contest, but climbed back into it. Junior Alexis Sweet sank two free throws and a lay-up, senior Sami Jackson connected from outside and senior Cara Clark got loose inside to put them in front with 1:47 left in the half.
However, the Lady Owls got a pair of three-pointers from freshman Julia Wells to head into the break with a 34-26 lead and used a 12-2 run during the middle of the second period to pull away.
Junior Stephanie Copelin and junior Priscila Santos each scored 15 points for William Woods (2-0), which out-shot the Lady Vikings from the field, 46.4 to 28.2 percent.
Valley was led by 10 points from both Sweet and senior Lindsi Jackson, with senior Gabi Morales pulling down 10 rebounds.
The Lady Vikings (1-2) will take on Park for their home opener Tuesday.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Valley men's wrestling team got its season off to a solid start Sunday by claiming five medals at the Oklahoma City University Open.
Leading the way for the 16th-ranked Vikings was junior Josh Manu's run to the 197-pound championship. After pinning his first opening and notching a 7-2 victory in the second round, the 10th-ranked Providence, R.I. grappler catapulted himself into the finals with an impressive 12-3 major decision over No. 1 Mike Brown of OCU -- who took third place at 285 pounds in the NAIA Tournament last year.
Manu followed that up with a 6-1 win over Oklahoma State's Austin Shaffer in the title match.
Valley had two other finalists: senior Gian Traverso (165 pounds) and freshman Gabbi Musallam (285). The 10th-ranked Traverso won a pair of decisions before meeting Oklahoma City's No. 13 Zach Skates for the gold medal, dropping a 7-4 bout.
Musallam made his college debut with two pins, the second over the host Stars' 12th-ranked Stanley Lattimore, and a 10-6 semifinal win That put him in the title tilt against Oklahoma State's Tyler Yoder, who took a tight 4-2 decision.
The Vikings also got fourth-place showings from No. 6 sophomore Logan Welch (133) and senior Aaron Senzee (149).
Valley will be in Warrensburg on Sunday for the Central Missouri Open.