New men’s soccer coach Souders wins first game
Under new direction for the first time in a decade, the Calvin men’s soccer team kicked off the Ryan Souders era with a 4-1 win over Augustana last Friday.
A year after a trip to the national championship game, the Knights were forced to re-evaluate themselves last April with the sudden departure of then head coach Chris Hughes.
Hughes, who left for nearby Davenport University, took a number of players with him and put Calvin in a tough situation heading into what many felt would have otherwise been an extremely promising year.
Still, with the hire of Souders, a 2006 Wheaton graduate and previous semi-pro player and head coach, excitement has once again begun to build around the blossoming young program.
Calvin jumped out to a quick lead over Augustana in the tournament hosted by Illinois Wesleyan, with senior Joe Broekhuizen capitalizing on a free kick just outside the box in the seventh minute of play.
Three minutes later, Calvin added another goal as junior Ben Honeycutt put in a shot on a pass from junior Zach Willis to push the Knights lead to 2-0.
Still running on all cylinders, Broekhuizen added another goal, his second of the match, off a give-and-go with sophomore Travis Vegter in the 25th minute to put the Calvin advantage at 3-0.
This is how the game would head into half, and just a few minutes into the second period, Augustana scored its first goal of the match to close the gap to 3-1.
Fifteen minutes later, Willis answered on an unassisted goal to complete the scoring at 4-1.
After the game, Souders was very pleased with the play of his team as a whole.
“It was a good opening game. I thought our first two goals were very well struck off set pieces. I thought our defense did a good job and our goalkeeping was strong.”
The win put Calvin at 1-0 on the season. The Knights were also slated to play host Illinois Wesleyan this past weekend, but the game was cancelled due to poor field conditions.
Calvin returns to action Friday night at 8:00 p.m. when they host Dominican University at Grand Rapids Christian High School. Calvin and Dominican previously faced each other in both the 2009 and 2010 national tournaments, with Calvin winning each match, 1-0 in 2009 and by a 3-1 shootout advantage in 2010.