Men’s soccer splits games in Cal Bergsma Tournament
Co-hosting one half of the Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament this weekend, the Knights opened tournament play Friday night against Dominican University at Eagles Stadium on the campus of Grand Rapids Christian High School.
Hope played host to Aurora on Friday night in Holland. Saturday night, the Knights and Dutch would switch opponents. Friday night, Calvin fell 2-1 to Dominican while the Knights earned a 2-1 win over the Spartans of Aurora University Saturday night.
Friday night saw a matchup of nationally ranked opponents in Calvin and Dominican. The Knights entered the game ranked 18th in the nation while the Stars were 16th.
Dominican grabbed the early lead as the Stars’ Ryan Ybarra curved a low shot around a Calvin wall on a free kick and into the net. The shot came from about 25 yards out and put the Knights into an early deficit.
It looked like Calvin would return the favor late in the half as a free kick from senior Joe Broekhuizen looked to be heading “upper-90” before Dominican’s keeper Max Gutbrod made a leaping save to punch it away. A volley from sophomore defender Reed Bowden also seemed to be headed toward the back of the net when Gutbrod hit the ball up and off the crossbar to keep the Stars ahead heading into halftime.
In the second half, a bad pass by senior goalkeeper Jared Rushlau resulted in a penalty kick and a red card as Rushlau took down the Dominican attacker in the box to prevent a goal. The Stars would score, regardless, as the penalty kick hit the back of the netting to put Dominican’s lead at 2-0.
The Knights, now down a man, did get a goal back in the 84th minute as junior Ben Honeycutt found himself on the back post and put a bouncing ball in the Stars box past the keeper Gutbrod to cut the lead to 2-1.
Calvin would not have any other strong chances on the net, however, and Dominican claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Also playing Friday night, Hope claimed a 2-1 win over Aurora at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
Looking to rebound on Saturday, the Knights hosted Aurora for the second round game at Zuidema Field on the campus of Calvin College.
This time, Calvin was granted a penalty kick as sophomore Travis Vegter was taken down in the box. Broekhuizen took the kick, and although it was saved by Aurora’s goalie, Broekhuizen put home the rebound to give the Knights a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. Calvin continued to pressure the Spartans net throughout the first half, led by Vegter, as the Knights totaled 16 shots, seven on net. Dominican would put aside every shot that came their way, however, as Calvin’s lead was just 1-0 heading into half.
Coming out of the break, the Knights extended their lead as Honeycutt tapped in another ball at the back post for his third goal of the year and a Calvin 2-0 lead.
In the 70th minute, an attempted clear by the Calvin defense from their own box resulted in an own goal as the ball ricocheted back toward the Knights goal and into the net. This cut Calvin’s lead to 2-1.
The Knights, despite great possession by Aurora in Calvin’s half, held on for the win to split the weekend tournament games. Calvin tallied 32 total shots and forced the Spartans keeper into 16 saves. Freshman Andrew Claucherty earned the win in net for the Knights, making three saves in place of the suspended Ruslau for his red card in Friday night’s contest.
Calvin, now 2-1 overall, looks forward to Wednesday, Sept. 12 when it will travel to Olivet for its conference opener against the Comets. The game is slated to start at 4 p.m.